August 12, 2014 by Colin Kelly
No point talking mental health if you only do it through the context of the sad death of Robin Williams.
By all means, use it as an access point, but please don’t give it wall to wall coverage because of the very sad but extreme life and death of a multi millionaire comic actor, then put it back in its box until the next high profile suicide.
Obesity, heart disease, and sugary snacks for kids are in the news everyday. We’ve even become quite mature and reasoned at discussing them. People’s behaviour has even changed as a result of discussion around these issues.
We need to do the same with mental health.
And let’s make it mental ‘health’ not mental illness. Let’s talk about how to improve our mental health, let’s celebrate people with good mental health and learn from them, and let’s support those who go through periods of their life with not so good mental health.
I’m firmly of the view that issues like this are best discussed when there’s NOT a high profile case in the news, stirring up everyone’s emotions and skewing the direction of the debate.
By all means, talk about the life and work of Robin Williams, talk about mental health, depression, drug and alcohol addiction, but let’s make sure we revisit these issues in a couple of months and hear the experiences of those who’s names we don’t recognise.
God knows, there are plenty of them.