Yesterday the world learned of the death of comedian and actor Robin Williams. While investigations into the circumstances of his death are underway, California’s Marin County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.
U social work professor David Derezotes has worked as a counselor, presented in the area of suicide prevention and developed a course on teen suicide. He is available to comment on mental health and suicide.
- Mental health can be equated with being fully alive, which means, in part, to face the truths of life and death, the truth of who we are and the truth of who we are not.
- When someone takes their life, I think it reminds most of us, at least unconsciously, of our own suicidal tendencies, or the ways in which we are not fully alive. This may be through addictions, such as drugs, computer games, pornography, etc. We also might avoid being who we really are by hiding in our work or in our love. There are as many ways to avoid life as there are people on the planet.
- Since we often do not want to face the painful parts of life and death, we may project our guilt and shame about our own addictions, carvings or aversions onto the person who has taken their life. It is ok to be sad but important to check in about how we feel about our own life.