On Aug. 11, 2014, it was announced that film icon, Robin Williams, had committed suicide in his California home. One year later, fans of Williams still mourn his death, shedding light on the effects of mental illness.
NBC news’ website argued that William’s death may cause an increase of attempts across the nation. In the article, they explained that after the suicides of Marilyn Monroe and Kurt Cobain there was a surge of fans, ranging from late teens to early 40s, that followed their example.
The National Suicide Prevention hotline gained up to a 50 percent uprise in calls the week of Robin Williams’ death, according to Newsweek.
“I am encouraged that the media is paying more attention to psychological disorders. Research has indicated that nearly one of two adults has experienced the symptoms of a psychological disorder at some point in their lives,” Assistant Professor of Psychology, Sarah Rankin said. ”It’s my hope that, with increased attention, more individuals will recognize that wide prevalence of psychological disorders and, as a result, be more comfortable seeking treatment.”
To help spread awareness of mental illness, L&C will have a Wellness Fair in October, where there will be two depression screenings on Wednesday, October 21 and Thursday, October 22 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Wellness Fair will be held on campus in the McPike Commons. Anyone suffering from depression or substance abuse are encouraged to participate in the screenings to seek help to prevent a fate like Robin Williams’.
“I hope that when people are struggling, they will decide to not struggle alone and will ask for help from others. Unfortunately, it is often at that time that it is the hardest to ask for help. They may feel too hopeless or unworthy of help,” Renee Bauer, L&C counselor, said. “Remember, everyone needs a little help with something, sometime, as none of us arrived where we are today without the help of someone, somewhere.”
Renee Bauer offers counseling services to students here on campus Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Students can make an appointment by stopping by her office on Caldwell room 2335, or calling division assistant, Barbara Cadle (618) 468-4121.