Letter to the Editor

Shed light on mental illness

Dear Editor,
Mental illness is a prevalent issue in today’s adolescent and post-adolescent world, and suicides such as that of Robin Williams bring the topic into the public eye.
The article addressing the suicide of Robin Williams goes on to discuss mental illness among college students, using statistics such as “at Georgia College, about 600 students used the counseling services last year.” It is important that students at Georgia College are aware of the presence of counseling services within the school. Student suicide is common, but is not widely discussed. It is the lack of discussion that leads to the worsening of mental illness.
Many young adults do not consider mental illness to be a viable disease, regarding those with depression as over-dramatic and emotional. This opinion is shared by enough people for those who suffer from mental illness to be hesitant in seeking help. It is ignorant to assume that someone suffering from a mental disease would feign his or her illness.
“Genie, You’re Free” helps to raise awareness not only for mental illness but also for the counseling services provided at Georgia College. It would be beneficial for mental illness and suicide to be an openly discussed topic, just as Robin Williams’ death became a reason to discuss mental health
Instances such as suicide should not be shielded. Shielding only adds to any shamefulness surrounding depression and other illnesses. Celebrity suicide presents an opportunity for mental health discussion, but it should not take such a tragedy in order to open the discussion on mental health.
Articles like “Genie, You’re Free” make strides toward civilian education and awareness of the topic and its severity. The longer the discussion waits, the worse the illness gets.

-Erin Patrick

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