The world lost a beautiful, talented woman on February 17, 2013. This is the day on which country singer Mindy McCready tragically died at her own hand. The suicide took place just a month after her boyfriend had killed himself, as well as in the exact same location and with a similar weapon. Prior to her death, McCready had been grieving her recently deceased boyfriend, but in increasing isolation from her family and friends.
Although she made several attempts to solve personal issues related to drug addiction and depression, McCready found herself constantly at the mercy of relapse during the final decade of her life. While relapses are common for those struggling with mental health problems, they often can be avoided with the development and continual practice of effective coping skills. Unfortunately, McCready either never obtained such skills or did not continue to practice them long enough for them to work properly.
Now, celebrities who have struggled with the same problems as Mindy McCready are speaking out in hopes that others who are struggling will learn of some concrete steps they can take to ease their distress. AC/DC member Cliff Williams offers particularly valuable advice: those with sturdy social networks are less likely to relapse. Cliff says that his children and wife help to keep him stable. Had McCready had a reliable person she felt comfortable leaning on — especially in the aftermath of her boyfriend’s death — perhaps her life would not have ended so early.
Despite the tragic nature of the Mindy McCready story, there is a lot to be learned, both for sufferers of mental illness and their loved ones. Perhaps the biggest takeaway: the support of loved ones is essential in times of emotional upheaval or great distress.