A dear family friend sent me a link to David Brooks’ personal essay in the NYT about the loss of his lifelong friend, Peter Marks, to suicide. It’s a beautiful and poignant piece that captures the heartache and feelings of helplessness that those who love and care for someone experiencing a mental health crisis often experience. I also appreciated how he drew on the work of people like William Styron and Sally Brampton, who have both written extensively on their own journeys through clinical depression.
What struck me was how closely many of the points he made about the experience of depression mirror what I have written and spoken about here on the blog and in other forums. It feels a bit like I read the same stories everywhere. It makes me wonder. Why isn’t the awareness greater and the help more accessible and equitable?
It’s a rhetorical question, I know. Structurally, there are many factors working against mental health education and care around the world. Some are cultural, others driven by capital. Despite a nagging level of cynicism, I remain overall optimistic and hopeful that each article, podcast, video, every story shared privately and publicly chips away at the stigma and opens hearts and minds to the realities of mental health.
We are interconnected and interdependent. Mental health matters for all of us. Let us make sure that it is so.