Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You're Not Alone

I was truly saddened by the news of the passing of Robin Williams yesterday. I recognize that his suicide has drawn more attention because he is a celebrity, but it also brings to light to an area of darkness that we are far too silent about. His tragic choice has temporarily raised awareness of the dangers of depression and the consequences of isolation and mental illness. Sadly, unless you have been in that dark place of contemplation or have directly been affected by suicide, this awareness will fade.

If I had the chance to talk with anyone who is struggling with thoughts of self-harm I would simply say this: don't be quiet about your pain and don't believe the lie that no one cares. I know that it seems too much to handle alone and you're right. Know that there are people who care deeply for you and want to help.

For everyone else I would say: Don't ignore people around you who are quiet and seem troubled. Make the effort to stand with them and let them know that the darkness isn't the final answer. Take the time to listen to people's stories. Listen beyond their words and have the courage to help. We might feel that we aren't qualified to help, but sometimes we just need to let people know that they aren't alone and that we care enough to listen.

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