The shocking deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, coupled with the report that suicide rates have been rising in most states, should give everyone pause.
It's estimated that nearly 16 million adults in the United States have dealt with depression. But nearly 40 percent of those afflicted do not receive treatment. It's an illness that cuts across all gender, race and socio-economic statuses.
And it can kill.
I've struggled with depression throughout my entire adult life. There have been times when the weight of that illness has brought me to the brink. The only thing that saved my life was that people reached out to me and asked if I needed help. That later allowed me to reach out on my own when depression took hold.
I'm lucky. I have a wonderful support network, I'm open about my illness, and I have the means to get treatment. Not everyone has what I have. There are so many people out there who still feel stigmatized by the term "mental illness." There are too many people who don't know where to turn for help. And our healthcare system can be too daunting for people trying to find affordable care.
But if you're depressed, if you have suicidal thoughts or other thoughts about self-harm, don't wait. Reach out to someone, anyone. And if you know someone who you suspect is battling depression, don't wait. Reach out to them and offer help.
- National Alliance on Mental Health Ohio: 1-800-686-2646
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Kevin Necessary is the editorial cartoonist for WCPO. His opinions do not reflect those of WCPO.