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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Casting A Light On Suicide : Robin Williams

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Suicide is something that will never go away. Some movies make it seem noble, while some show it as being an extreme tragedy. To the mother, worker, wife, sister, aunt, friend, co-worker it is always horrible. It ends the chance to put things right.

About two weeks ago, some of my clients were looking at Mrs. Doubtfire. We talked about how Robin Williams had battled depression and how he thought it was time he returned to a rehab facility because he needed help. Yesterday, I learned Robin Williams committed suicide. I couldn't help but feel like a failure. I didn't know him, but I work in programs that are meant to save people like him. There are people who leave our institutions and we know they will more than likely return because the void is still there and in many cases, we see it. In our conference today we learned that almost half of the people who commit suicide, talk to their mental health behavioral doctors at least 30 days prior to doing the deed. So, what's happening? Where is the change?

The change has to come in the process of training mental health professionals and para professionals all over the country. Everyone should be sent to at least one conference a year on this crisis. We all need to learn about the warning signs of suicide. There needs to be better training on various types of depression.

Lastly, as family members, we have to be careful. My daughter was bullied and attacked by a group of girls on the 4th of April. She started having nightmares and then she tried to kill herself in May. For two days straight we were dealing with back to back attempts, and finally when it got too bad, we ended up taking her to a facility for a brief stay to help stabilize her. It's okay to need help. It's okay to need redirection. Recovery isn't something that happens overnight, it takes a while, it's painful, it's not always private, but it is always worth it.

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