There’s been a lot of hubbub about Robin Williams passing–I, as any other twenty something, grew up with him voicing and portraying some of my favorite characters in movies. There’s also lot of people saying that he/ people with mental illness in general should just ‘ask for help’ if you’re struggling, but let’s be clear: asking for help and telling someone to ask for help are two totally different things. Admitting you need help is a big step, and then to ask someone to open up about mental illness and ask for help is even bigger.
I’m off track, but there is a librarianship tie-in here. Self-checkout and making library resources on mental illness readily findable without assistance is important. Self-checkout allows a patron to leave with pertinent information without having to see the flutter of an eyelid from library staff as they checkout the item. Making online services with mental health tie-ins available on a specific and findable resources page is key as well. Heck, even create a libguide on it with call numbers to in-house resources as well. We can all help, but telling someone to ask for help may be the least helpful thing of all.