I cannot help but think the sadness I feel in the senseless death of iconic comedian Robin Williams is related to our country's ignorance about depression and substance abuse. Death is not treatable, but depression and substance abuse are not only treatable but you can recover. Twenty percent of Americans meet the criteria for a mental health disorder during the course of a year, and 33 percent of us are exposed to substance abuse as a part of our growing up. What do we not understand?
We all are members of a family and we can do two things: 1) advocate for our health insurance plans to cover screening and treatment for depression and substance use and 2) insist our family members receive appropriate care when they suffer from these illnesses.
Make a difference today and let's not lose another life.
Dan Aune, executive director
Mental Health America of Montana