Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Today is the anniversary of my twin brother's death. He committed suicide on July 7th in 2007. It's not an easy time for my family, especially for my older brother who is very unwell with schizophrenia.
No one should die due to mental illness. I've seen the failures of the mental health system in more ways that I'd like to count. That said, I've also seen some amazing people and programs that are set up to help people help themselves.
Mental illness doesn't have to be a life sentence. There are ways that people can get well and have happy, functional lives. But to do this, we need to improve the way we diagnose, treat and support people with mental illness.
I know there's a lot of people who say that you shouldn't disclose personal details about mental illness and 'depressing' issues like suicide. But I think blogs should be a place for discussion, awareness raising and where possible, assistance.
Forgive me as I'm not feeling terribly articulate today. I'd like you to join the GetUp Campaign to increase funding to preventative and acute mental health services in Australia. You can read more about it here. It's a start.