Months After Robin Williams, Hotlines Still See a Spike

Robin WilliamsA full two months after Robin Williams’ death from suicide on August 11, a scattered handful of mental health professionals and volunteers are still feeling the aftereffects. They are suicide prevention hotline directors and operators, spread across the country but allied in their commitment to meeting the demand for mental health services that routinely spikes after… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Proceed with caution

By Ernesto Cullari

Ernesto_Cullari_GDA1I’m not an expert on suicide and chances are neither are you –that’s okay. But if you read the news, or if you’ve logged onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter recently, nearly everyone has something to say about suicide and actor Robin Williams’s death.

Be careful what you say and what you write, because it is likely that the person sleeping next to you; the guy that delivers your mail or the person sitting near you on the train has thought about suicide at least once before.

Nearly 1 in 20 people have thought about suicide. Suicidal thoughts are more common than we realize. What we say to our friends, family and colleagues and what we write about suicide on social media will certainly have an impact on those around us. Many are more vulnerable to past and current suicidal thoughts, because Robin William’s death has made their feelings of suicide very raw.

Being able to talk to someone about suicidal thoughts is very important. There are people specially trained to help those in need of someone to listen. Share this number on your social media, it is operational 24 hours a day, from everywhere in the country: 1-800-273-TALK

There is a stigma surrounding mental health issues that should not exist. That stigma is an impediment to people who should be seeking help but are reluctant to do so for fear of being judged by others. What you say about Robin Williams, you’re really saying about them. I’ve thought about suicide on more than one occasion, depression runs in my family and it is something that I wont be ashamed of.

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Posted: August 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Ernesto Cullari, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Christie vetoes gun control legislation, Re-writes bill as mental health reform measure

IMG_6919Calling a bill that would have reduced permitted ammunition magazine sized from 15 rounds to 10 “reform in name only,” Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed A2006   this afternoon.

In his conditional veto message, Christie said the bill follows the well worn path of empty rhetoric, political self-promotion and polarizing intolerance in the face of violent crimes committed with guns:

“Difficult choices are brushed aside
in favor of empty rhetoric. Uncomfortable topics are left
unexplored, while easy soundbites and videoclips are packaged
for consumption. Appropriate empathy for victims, and their
suffering survivors, blurs with politics and elected officials’
self-promotion to create a polarizing intolerance. We ignore
the hard for the expedient, the controversial for the safely
familiar, and the costly for those cheaply recycled answers that
never really address the root causes.”

Christie sent the legislation back to the General Assembly as a bill that he says addresses violence by fixing critical short comings and crack in the mental healthcare system.

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Posted: July 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Crime, Crime and Punishment, Gun Control, Gun Rights, Guns | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

A Proper Response to the Connecticut Murders

By Dan Gallic

Let’s just say that I’m not a fan of guns. I don’t like them. I don’t like being around them. I do not like shooting them and I certainly don’t like the risk they create by simply existing. And yet, I’m also not willing to cede more gun control the appropriate response to the Connecticut slayings. Nor am I willing to discount it. Gun control, the debate and legislation offered, needs to happen, not because of the slaying but because it’s correct to debate gun ownership, limitation and use… all the time, not just in times of multiple slayings. And the same goes for those who think that this tragedy was caused by the decaying nature of a“godless” society, or whatever perceived spiritual deficit the spiritual among us choose to highlight. Ultimately, even the most atheistic would not condone such slayings, therefore, blame associated at a spiritual level is misguided at best. We rely on natural law to create a base of acceptable norms, even for those who deny it’s existence.

 

But no one can discount one over-riding issue that links every like event involving these types of mass murders, mental health. The Aurora, WV Tech and the Newton slayings all involve a significantly mentally ill individual.

 

We, as a nation, decided three or four decades ago, that we didn’t have the will or resources to create safe, reliable and appropriate facilities for those who suffer with mental illness. One reason we started to lose our appetite to deal with the mentally ill appropriately was the ever expanding definition that was being associated with the diagnoses. Eventually, every drunk and drug user was labeled mentally ill, and resources allocated to the mentally ill were quickly filled and demand for more and more and more resources taxed the mental health support system.

A history of tragic abuse in mental health facilities also came to light as mental institutions became the playground for every kook doctor who espoused a cure for mental health. With little or no oversight mental health institutions became a real life horror stories. One has to look no further than the lobotomy of Rose Marie Kennedy to demonstrate these abuses.
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Posted: December 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Connecticut Murders, Sandy Hook Elementary School | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »