Check out this cartoon explanation of what's at stake. If you've ever seen a friend or loved one in a psychotic state because they went off their meds, you know these illnesses are real and the people suffering from them need help. People with diabetes or high blood pressure need medication to control their conditions. Those with mental health issues also sometimes need medication. It's nothing for which to be ashamed.
No one who has a physical illness requiring medication carries a stigma. Neither should we stigmatize those with mental illness. Reaching out may help somebody suicidal choose life by getting help. My sister-in-law and I were chatting this morning and she told me about an Australian man who lived across from a cliff, the world's worst suicide spot. He would see people there who appeared to be considering suicide. His response? To go over and chat and invite them over for tea. He saved dozens of people from making the tragic mistake of taking their own lives.
Don Ritchie is a hero. He died in 2012, but he's not forgotten. Keep your eyes open to recognize those in your life who are struggling. Open your ears to listen to them. They might be obnoxious. Listen to them anyway. They might be abusive. Listen anyway. They might do irrational things. Listen anyway. You can't fix what's wrong, but you may be a lifeline for them by just listening and loving them. Here's a website that might help a suffering soul know he or she isn't alone. As Hail Holy Queen says, we live in a "vale of tears." Some travel that valley without hope. Lets offer them some.