CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A comedian is the middle of a controversy after a post on his Facebook page. It talked about his frustrations with the way mental health issues are handled. The post was only up for about 8 minutes, but that was enough for dozens of people to get angry and comment.
The post mentioned Mental Health Awareness Week, but Jesse Tuttle went on to say people shouldn’t talk about their mental health struggles. The post mentioned his own struggles with mental health, including his history of being involuntarily hospitalized. He said, “Let me help you if you have a mental illness: Do not tell anyone.”
That upset a lot of people, but he said the message didn’t come across the way he intended. The post was just his way of expressing frustration with his experience getting treatment. He believes the system needs to have more options for treatment and that people shouldn’t be committed just for mentioning suicidal thoughts.
“It makes people scared to reach out, and that’s the worst thing we can do with people who have any kind of mental issues is make them afraid to say, like, what’s happened to them, their experiences, much like I was saying in my post and stuff, it’s like… That is how you’re made to feel,” said Jesse Tuttle.
Counselors tell me the system isn’t perfect, but it shouldn’t discourage you from getting help.
“There are numbers of people in the community who not only also have mental health conditions but want to advocate support. There are therapists and counselors and helping advocates in our community who want to open up that conversation and provide a safe space for people with those conditions to get the help they need,” said R.J. McNicholl.
McNicholl said, if you aren’t sure where to go for help, any center you call will likely direct you to the best place for what you need.
While this is Mental Health Awareness Week, advocates said it’s important that the conversation lasts all year to help normalize mental illness.