Action on mental state as crucial as physical health

Robin Williams ANL-140829-175253001
Robin Williams ANL-140829-175253001
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Robin Williams was much loved. He came to fame as the zany alien Mork and that combination of quirky humour and a slightly manic rapid delivery endeared him to many.

I think Robin’s death has made people think about mental illness and particularly about depression.

How can a man who seemed to have so much and made so many people so happy end his life so tragically?

There is always a fine line between coping with life and despair – and sadly the pain of his personal life became simply too great for him to cope. If his death makes people realise that action on mental health can be as crucial as physical health, then that will be a step forward.

A few years ago, a teenager in Spalding took an overdose. They took her to a local casualty department. After they had done what was urgent, the mother asked the nurse: “What happens next”? The nurse replied “There is no next here. Go and ask your GP”.

The GP told them there was a ten-month waiting list for counselling. If she had been physically ill, that delay would have been unthinkable. Her suffering inspired some to start up SPACE4U, a local counselling service all could afford.

Jesus showed compassion to tormented people who turned to him. We need to show that compassion too.

Peter Garland

Vicar of St John’s Spalding with Deeping St Nicholas and Chaplain of Johnson

Community Hospital