You are never alone

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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The unexpected death of comedic actor Robin Williams has put the topic of depression back in the spotlight.

Many people took to social media expressing their shock and astonishment that one of the funniest men had died.

It can be hard for many people to fathom that someone who brought others so much laughter could commit suicide.

However, that is the harsh irony of being human.

It is no secret that Williams fought demons throughout his 63 years on Earth. He battled with addiction and depression.

Perhaps people will now look at his humour a little differently — maybe he was constantly making others laugh in order to cheer himself up.

The details of how, where and when are irrelevant.

What is relevant and important is that 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

Even more so, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.

It is unfortunate that a death of a celebrity has to bring the discussion of depression back into our thoughts, but mental illness indirectly — or directly — affects all Canadians at some point in their lives.

Anyone that is suffering in silence is not weak or less of a person. They need help and most people want help.

There are many signs to look for in people, including talking about wanting to harm oneself, talking about feeling hopeless, talking about being a burden to others, increased use of drugs or alcohol, acting anxious, sleeping too much or too little, isolating themselves, showing rage and mood swings.

Not every suicide can be prevented, but the loss of a life and the damage that can be done to those left behind can make the situation worse.

When one in five Canadians is struggling each and every day, it is important to remember that most mental illnesses can be treated effectively.

If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, do not be afraid to contact the Canadian Mental Health Association in Moose Jaw at 306-692-4240 or the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Dealing and working through the pain is not easy or fun and there is no short cut, but depression is survivable and the end result is worth fighting for.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: Canadian Mental Health Association

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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