PCS Bail Bonds observed the world’s mourning of the recent suicide of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams. His tragic death triggered countless questions about the severity of mental health and depression in America and the role that played specifically in the passing of the Mrs. Doubtfire star.
Then this past Wednesday, August 27, the Fort Worth community felt the sting of those questions in their own backyard. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office pronounced 17-year-old Katerin Romero dead after what Fort Worth police assessed as a suicide.
Romero left class late that morning, only to later jump off the Beach Street bridge and into oncoming Interstate 30 traffic. Her loved ones are left to wonder how and why this happened when Romero was described as a social girl who was a natural leader poised to have become the first from her family to go to college.
With classmates, friends and family all gathering for a candlelit vigil outside of Eastern Hills High School the day after Romero’s passing, they can only wait for more details of this tragedy to surface, no doubt questioning every recent interaction they had with the teen. While nothing can be assumed at this stage, Romero’s suicide again focuses the spotlight on mental health and depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that tens of millions of Americans are living with mental health issues, with only a fraction of that number getting treated. Much of the problem stems from the country not having the proper resources to adequately treat those suffering with variations of this disease. The current administration did pass a law requiring all private insurance plans to cover mental health, as it would any other type of medical care, but unfortunately, the law does nothing to make more resources available to gainfully treat individuals with mental health. It seems an entire system needs to be created to handle the number of people suffering—a system that doesn’t appear to be in place, or if it is, doesn’t appear able to effectively handle the volume of people with mental illness.
While PCS Bail Bonds is not making any assumptions about Romero, we are acknowledging how troubling it is that a “standout” student who was sociable and intelligent would take her own life at such short notice. It leads to the larger question of how to identify and reach those affected by this disease and how to educate the public so they are aware of some of the symptoms, which would hopefully lead to treatment at an earlier stage.
A lot of questions remain in the U.S. when it comes to mental health. As more information surrounding Romero’s psychological condition emerges, we at PCS Bail Bonds can only hope it leads to some answers that could eventually prevent a tragedy of this nature from ever happening again.
Spencer, R., “America’s mental health care crisis: families left to fill the void of a broken system,” TheGuardian.com, May 27, 2014; http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/27/-sp-americas-mental-health-care-system-crisis.
“Statistics,” National Institute of Mental Health web site; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml, last accessed September 2, 2014.