I write this entry in my blog with a very heavy heart, as I mourn with the rest of the world over the tragic news of Robin Williams passing. A brilliant man, in every sense of the word, an amazing actor, a Talented Comedian, a man who shared the gift of laughter with the world. It breaks our hearts in a million pieces to know his inner turmoil took him from his place in this world.
A man, who loved to use his talents and gifts to make others smile, was fighting his own inner demons. Even if I didn’t suffer with depression, this still would break my heart, but all the more so when I’ve been there and felt that pain before. Years ago I was hospitalized for suicide attempts. So I know exactly where he was coming from, I know many out there know those dark thoughts, those dark crevices in their minds, where on the outside, they are putting on a façade for those around them, but inside the turmoil is deep and dark and very real.
I usually don’t cry over losses in Hollywood, I feel sad, if it’s actor or actress that I love, but this one, this one hit close to home. This one touched the deep part of my soul, and I did cry, I cried because I know, I cried for his family and close friends, A man, whose heart was so big. A man who gave so much, of himself to others, not just the laughter, but his own resources.
I felt his pain, pain that he hid well, behind that contagious smile of his. Another loss, what could have been done? How many more tragic losses before society and the world wakes up to the harsh reality that mental illness is REAL! It does not discriminate against race, or male or female or status. I see more dialogue going on, why it makes me so angry that it took this loss to get the ball rolling.
There needs to be more programs, more awareness, more funds, and more OPEN discussions, strip away the stigma, the myths, and reveal the truth. More and more people are being diagnosed every day. The world Health organization estimates approximately 121 million people suffer with mental illness and only 25% have access to effective treatment. Staggering statistics but it’s the truth, so what can be done? We all can be part of this change that needs to take place.
More diagnosis and less that’s being done, we can’t just push it aside and hope it goes away, this is not going anywhere. And we are losing brilliant minds and precious lives. WE all need to speak out, let our voices be heard and unite as one. Suicide is an epidemic. We need to educate and offer support, train up individuals that can impact mental health! When we care for the individual, we need to care for the whole person, and that includes the mind.