When the media broke the news of Robin Williams’ death, it was shocking to realize that someone who gave people so much joy was experiencing such pain. He was loved and revered by people he’d never met—a man who had every success and a family who loved him but who still felt unable to reach for the help that he needed. His loss is devastating, and it’s a fresh reminder that people all around us are struggling, without access to the resources and care that could help them survive.
Robin Williams was not alone. 1.1 million people attempt suicide each year, and 39,000 people take their own lives. One in five Americans suffered from a mental illness in the last year, but only 39 percent of them were able to get mental health services. We must erase the stigma that prevents people from getting help, and we must make sure that everyone seeking help has access to the care they need. Continue reading