The sudden and tragic death of actor and comedian Robin Williams has forced people worldwide to step back and pay attention to the very real struggle so many face with depression and suicide. Depression does not discriminate. It can affect any age, race, gender, or social group. And recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution either.
Leonard Maxey is the Executive Director of the Friendship Community Center, and Dr. Scott Peebles is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. Both men work daily with individuals struggling with and surviving with mental illnesses. They agree that the first step in seeking help, in many cases, is overcoming the stigma that is attached to the disorders. Too often it takes a tragedy, such as Robin Williams’ death, to force people to sit up and pay attention to the issue. Mental illness is something that exists every day, all across the world.
Mr. Maxey and Dr. Peebles both share with viewers who may know someone, or are suffering themselves, that there is hope and there is help. They offer resources and services that are available to keep those struggling from taking their lives and to actually help make their lives better.
If you or someone you know is battling depression, there is help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. You can also log on at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.