The Oscar-winning legend that has been most known for his roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Birdcage, Jumanji, Dead Poet’s Society, Toys and Mork & Mindy, Robin Williams was a respected comedian, friend and actor. But besides from his success, Williams had battled severe depression for many years.
According to the research published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, “major depression rates for American adults increased from 3.33 percent to 7.06 percent from 1991 through 2002. Depression is also considered a worldwide epidemic, with 5 percent of the global population suffering from the condition.”
Williams was a man that everyone loved and while he made millions of people laugh, he had his own struggles that he dealt with every day. Williams said that “comedy is acting out optimism,” even though he was hilarious, he had demons within himself that overtook his mind and body when he committed suicide on Monday, Aug. 11.
Like Williams, depression is involved in more than two-thirds of the 30,000 suicides that occur in the United states every year.
“This can happen to anyone and it is never to early or too late to reach out for help,” Coutu said. “We forget about everybody else that is struggling that has attempted or committed. September is suicide awareness month and hoping there will be a different conversation this year than the past.”
Mental illnesses are extremely complex, with multiple causes and side effects. When these mental illnesses are mixed with drugs and alcohol, they can be a deadly combination, especially if the illness is untreated. Counseling, medication or other forms of cooping mechanisms are all extremely helpful with any type of trauma, dealing with any mental illness or any conflict.
For those who are affected by any mental illness, there are on campus resources.
“11,000 colleges students commit suicide every year,” Madeline Coutu, President of Cabrini College’s Active Minds, said. “It’s awesome that we talk about Robin Williams and it sparked that conversation, but it’s dying down because it’s not newsworthy anymore and if anything Williams suicide should create lasting conversation that this can happen to anybody and we need those resources.”
Chester County Crisis Intervention Services: 610-918-2100 or 1-977-918-2100
National Hopeline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or call 911