The suicide of actor and comedian, Robin Williams has had many people talking this past week about the pain of depression and other mental illness.
It's a topic we have discussed before on this program. It is a difficult topic ...but an important one that touches the lives of many Canadians.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada some seven million Canadians-20 per cent of the population-live with a mental illness. And there are estimates that each and every week half-a-million Canadians miss work because of a mental health problem.
The outpouring of affection for Robin Williams is worldwide ...a man at the pinnacle of his career and loved by millions. He's also from the demographic group -- middle-aged men ---with the fastest rising rate of suicide.
Depression can hit anyone, regardless of achievement or hard work or family circumstance... Later we will hear from the Olympian medallist, speed skater and cyclist Clara Hughes about her own struggle with depression. And her campaign to reduce the stigma around mental illness and the work she's been doing to encourage a better conversation about mental health.
So let's start the conversation this afternoon with this question: "How can we better help people cope with depression and other mental health issues?"
What have your experiences been in getting help for either yourself or for a family member who is dealing with mental illness?
A recent Danish study suggests that one person in three will have some kind of mental illness over their lifetime. That means that we are talking about something that most of us will either experience personally or encounter in someone they know. How well prepared are we?
What are some of the strategies that are working for you and your family?
Are there enough support networks to help those in need? Do you have any ideas about how to reduce the stigma around mental illness?
Our question today: "How can we better help people cope with depression and other mental health issues?"
I'm Rick Cluff ...on CBC Radio One ...and on Sirius XM, satellite radio channel 169 ...this is Cross Country Checkup.