Buzz Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon in his famous Apollo 11 mission. Recently, he opened up to speak about his struggles with depression in light of actor Robin Williams death. Williams, 63, died Monday of an apparent suicide. This death touched millions around the globe, and brought the topic of depression to the forefront of many conversations.
In his words, Aldrin urged for compassion, and said those with the illness should have access to all the resources needed for treatment (see the transcript and post below):
The torment of depression and the complications of addiction that accompany it affect millions, including myself and family members before me – my grandfather committed suicide before I was born and my mother the year before I went to the moon – along with hundreds of veterans who come to a similar fate each year. As individuals and as a nation we need to be compassionate and supportive of all who suffer and give them the resources to face life
Williams was no stranger to NASA, or to space exploration. After the loss of the space shuttle Challenger, Williams awakened the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-26) in the style of his Army DJ character in Good Morning, Vietnam, bringing some much needed humor to a sad situation.
WATCH: Robin Williams Wakes Up NASA
If you or a loved one are facing depression, mental health services are available to help. Contact the National Suicide Hotline here or at 800-273-8255.
Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the Summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did.
-Robin Williams as Jack, (1996)