I'm sure you've heard by now that Robin Williams committed suicide this morning. I am so sad. I was on facebook and had to stop to write this blog and take a deep breath.
One author I follow wrote that she was sad and angry. I thought, "Angry? Who are you angry at, Robin?" I hope not. I hope you are angry (justifiably so) at Mental Illness and the lack of awareness and understanding it has.
If Robin had died of a heart attack would you be angry?
Did you know that I started blogging in response to a friend's suicide? Here is the first blog I ever wrote on March 16th, 2013 called Moms aren't supposed to. I hope you get a chance to read it.
Dead Poet's Society is one of my all time favorite movies so I'm throwing in this video to help us celebrate how great an artist/actor Robin Williams was.
"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
The following facts are taken from The The National Alliance for Mental Illness website and specifically their well researched and documented Mental Illness Fact Sheet.
Numbers of Americans Affected by Mental Illness
* One in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17−about 13.6 million−live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.
*Approximately 2.6 percent of American adults−6.1 million people−live with bipolar disorder.
* Approximately 6.7 percent of American adults−about 14.8 million people−live with major depression.
*Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. (more common than homicide) and the third leading cause of death for ages 15 to 24 years.22 More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders.
*Although military members comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, veterans represent 20 percent of suicides nationally. Each day, about 22 veterans die from suicide.
With these statistics you know someone who suffers from a mental illness. I hope that we can all have compassion and more understanding as we walk in this world. I believe in more funding for suicide prevention programs and especially for holistic, pro-active, mental health treatment.
The post that had me bawling from the internet tonight was this one:
Mental illness affects the sufferer and the people that love them.
Tonight, I say prayers for Robin William's (and my own) family, friends and fans and for all those that suffer (most in silence) with depression, bi-polar and all forms of mental illness. Know that we are connected and you are loved.
Wrapping you around with infinite love, peace and healing,
P.S. NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE - No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.