CELEBRITY deaths rarely faze me, but I have to admit the passing of Robin Williams has dampened my week.
My imagination as a child was decorated with the sound of his voice in its many forms.
But I feel there is something to take away from his death, lessons to be learned.
I've heard many people say "he always seemed so happy", or "but he was funny", and I think it serves as a reminder that depression does not discriminate.
Fighting the illness and the stigma of pigeonholing, sufferers are confronted with twice the battle.
It is a sad truth that one of the world's best comedians and most-loved entertainers will be remembered as having such a sad ending.
And so we must remember him at his best and take what we can from his death.
Never typecast an individual for wearing a smile.
And once again, the need for a more comprehensive mental health service in Gladstone becomes apparent.
With one in five Australians suffering from mental illness in Australia, no-one is immune.
Depression is a deadly killer, and we need to support those who live with the burden.
We have doctors who specialise in all manners of physical health, but are we nurturing our emotional health in the same way?
The most debilitating of diseases are those clouded in shame. We need to lift the curtain and introduce transparency into mental health.
Because a loss of any life succumbed to depression is a loss for society. To lose a soul who made the world laugh is a travesty.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
If you need help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 44 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.
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