So much awareness is brought to mental illness when someone well known dies from it. When suicide takes a life away – suddenly everyone is aware of what pain it causes – to that person and to those that loved them – and even to those that did not know them personally but were somehow touched by them.
There have been so many articles, news reports, and posts about Robin William’s death. I did a post myself. I do not think it is wrong to bring this attention – I think it is great!
My problem with it is — it starts strong — everyone cares about it. The public published the suicide hotline number on Facebook, they post that they care and are there for anyone who needs to talk. They talk about how stigma is wrong. I am not saying that they are lying in any way. I think they do believe these things. I think that losing someone that they were genuinely touched by has affected them. Once that grieving period dies down though, the “sensationalism” of the issue dies down too.
How many celebrities have we lost to suicides and overdoses over the years? How many times have we had a month or two where mental health was a big issue because of this and everyone seemed to care about it, to support it? Then suddenly – it all just went away.
Perhaps, this time it will be different. Maybe this time, the suicide hotline numbers will stay up. Maybe people really will take the time to listen and be there for others. Maybe the stigma will die down.
A few celebrities we have lost over the last few years that have brought quite a bit of attention to the news were:
Philip Seymore Hoffman – drug overdose
L’Wren Scott – Hung herself
Lee Thompson Young – shot himself
Whitney Houston – drowned – with cocaine being a factor, but struggled with drugs and this brought up great discussion after her death
Amy Whinehouse – Alcohol Poisoning …. thus joining “Club 27” – a club of popular musicians who died at the age of 27 from suicide/drug overdose and homicides.
Lots of discussion occurred after these deaths … but soon after, it all just died down. These are just a few of the deaths too. There were a lot more. A lot more due to drug overdoses, which is a serious mental health issue today. A lot more suicides over the years as well. Let’s not let these stories happen and people just forget about them. Mental illness is not something that should be in the news for a few months and forgotten. Let’s keep it in the spotlight. These celebrities should not be dying from it, we should not be dying from it – no one should be dying from it.