by G. Brown
Kristoff St. John is an Emmy Award winning acting who has good looks, fame and fortune. To fans he seems to have everything. But he also has heartbreak and despair.
The “Young and the Restless” star is in treatment after a mental health scare where he allegedly sent an ex-girlfriend pictures of him holding a gun to his head and threatening to kill himself. Friends have been worried that the 51 year old actor may be depressed as he approaches another November anniversary of the suicide of his son Julian three years ago. His son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was said to be battling a drug addiction.
Just days prior to threatening to end his own life, St. John posted this reminder urging fans and followers to remember October is Mental Health Awareness month…
— Kristoff St John (@kristoffstjohn1) October 12, 2017
Entertain Weekly says St. John has suffered from severe depression since his son’s suicide. The news outlet quoted the actor’s ex-wife who shared the pain of trying to cope with the loss of their son and the effect it continues to have on them…”No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for those who do, it is a nightmare that haunts you forever. The death of our beloved son Julian has taken a toll on both of us. He is an actor and while he may appear whole on the outside, his heart is broken. As a society, we need to start taking mental health seriously and realize that no one is immune.”
Mental Health America (MHA) estimates that nearly seven million African Americans are afflicted by mental illness each year. Traumatic losses like St. John’s are not the only causes of depression and psychological distress. MHA cites factors like racism, financial distress and job loss. Even past history can be a factor, MHA says “Historical adversity, which includes slavery, sharecropping and race-based exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources, translates into socioeconomic disparities experienced by African Americans today.”
MHA also says African Americans are more likely than Whites “to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness“. The site also say the African American community is also more likely to still harbor stigmas or apprehensions about mental illness and only about 30% of Blacks seek treatment.
St. John’s threat to end his life might have ended differently if people ignored his cry for help when he sent out that photo of a gun to his head. It’s all to easy to joke about people being crazy, but the truth is life is hard and sometimes people just have trouble coping. What’s crazy is to turn our backs or ignore when a family member, friend or co-worker is acting out because they’re really reaching out for someone to help.