Recently, I read that director Tony Scott committed suicide. The 68 year old Top Gun director jumped to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge into the Los Angeles Harbor (Blankstein, 2012). He left behind a suicide note for his wife, Donna Wilson Scott, and their twin sons Frank and Max. Just days later, celebrity music manager, Chris Lighty, allegedly commited suicide. Police confirmed he was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head at his apartment in New York. He was 44 years old. (Samuels & Kemp, 2012).

Celebrity prompt many media outlets to bring the seriousness of suicide to the attention of everyday citizens. Journalists and bloggers have speculated why these deaths may have occurred. Some attribute it to marital problems, while others may blame financial difficulties. Regardless of the cause, the act becoming one that we as a society can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to. The National Institute of Mental Health says that 90 percent of all suicide “completers” display some form of diagnosable mental disorder (Anderson, 2008). Could these celebrities have been suffering from mental illness? One can never say for sure, but this highlights the overwhelming stigma on mental illness in our society. In 2005, approximately 32,000 Americans committed suicide, or nearly twice the number of those killed by homicide (Anderson, 2008).

Mental health professionals, as well as people who have experienced therapy first hand, need to educate others about the positives of mental health services. Now more than ever people need additional support. The unemployment rate has reached 8.1 percent last month (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). Government and personal debt is at an all time high as well (Lubin, 2011). These statistics make it clear that everyday citizens are facing unprecedented pressures. Do you have a positive mental health support experience that you can share with others? In today’s society, with all the challenges ahead, sharing positive experiences about mental health support can help others who may be looking for direction and guidance.

Anderson, S. (July 6, 2008) The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com.

Blankstein, A. (August, 19, 2012). The Los Angles Times. Retrieved from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012). Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.us.htm.

Lubin, G. (September 23, 2011) Business Insider. Retrieved from http://articles.businessinsider.com.

Samuels, T. & Kemp, J.(August, 30, 2012) New York Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com