THE BLOG

On Robin Williams and Suicide

13/08/2014 15:37 BST | Updated 12/10/2014 10:59 BST

Yesterday, one of the most beloved men to grace our screens died. The world is reeling in shock that has been likened to when Michael Jackson died: we simply can't believe it. And, like me, thousands have taken the time to put into words how much they'll miss Robin Williams. At sixty-three years old, Williams' had impacted people of all ages with his career. I grew up watching his films and crying with laughter at how funny the man was, and parents, who watched the same films with their children, will mourn for the man who put such big smiles on their face.

Perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that the cause of death was, apparently, suicide. How could a man who spread so much joy across the world be so sad and lonely that he would take his own life? How is it fair that a man who is loved by hoards of people he has never even met could feel so lonely that he couldn't go on anymore? Perhaps, like many other celebrities, it was the pressure of fame that led him to depression and addiction.

But in the wake of such a sudden departure, we should stop to consider that there are millions of people out there suffering with depression, and not all of them are getting the help that they need. Perhaps, in the memory of somebody we are so sad to have lost, we should increase our efforts to prevent other people from following in his footsteps.

Every sixty seconds, somebody in the UK calls the charity Samaritans looking for help with suicidal thoughts, and those are just the people who realise that they need - and want - help. There are so many more that haven't - and might not ever - come to that realisation.

There are also many ways that we can help. If you know somebody that you believe needs help, talk to them. Point them towards the services, like those Samaritans provide, that can help them. If you don't, why not take a moment to share the services on social media? Or, if you can afford to, donate your time or your money to a charity dedicated to helping those in danger of hurting themselves. After all, depression is something that can affect anyone, regardless of their age, identity, or lifestyle, and one day it could be you or somebody that you love that needs the help.