Like many I have been shocked and saddened by news of Robin Williams’ suicide. Dead Poets Society is among my all time favourite films and Carpe Diem has long been my motto. While there are many laudable tributes to his work and many sites offering support to those suffering from depression, could I ask you to do one more thing?
Open up in the workplace about mental health.
Not just for those who are, or might be, in need themselves, but also for those who support people suffering from depression or another mental illness. It’s really tough to suffer from depression and it can also be really tough to understand it from the outside. However hard we try it isn’t possible – even those who have felt depressed still cannot truly understand what it’s like for someone else. Such is the nature of depression.
Being able to talk about it can be helpful. I’m not saying it will be in all circumstances, but with supportive workplaces at least one of the blocks or areas where stigma around mental health issues might be encountered could be removed. I know I’m dreaming a little, individual people will still hold their opinions, at work and outside. But could you, or your organisation promote mental health awareness a little more?
If you’d like to do so but don’t know where to start, contact Mind, SANE, Samaritans or another charity, or call me – Stuart and I have experience as both depression sufferer and supporter respectively as well as in promoting awareness.
If you’re reading this and in need of support right now follow this link to Mind’s website