I’m so sorry to hear of your brother’s story. It certainly does get easy to blame ourselves for not doing more. I think it is truer to say we did what we could within the limits of what is available today.
I believe we, as a people or country, are still in the most primitive days of responding to mental health. By this, I mean, it is culturally embedded not to get help or to provide it effectively. Stigma has gotten much better, but I honestly don’t know how it is feels for people today. I am most familiar with how college students in the 1990s were perceiving mental health, because I did my dissertation on that topic. At least in that age group, stigma was still a problem.
I see getting good help as key to recovery. It’s sad, too, because a lot of people do approach the mental health system, but their first pass doesn’t go well. It really isn’t any different than going to the doctor for the first time for an infection. You may really dislike the first doctor you ever see or medication you take. Hopefully, this doesn’t mean you will give up on antibiotics and future doctors. Unfortunately, people are so vulnerable when they are not mentally health that a bad experience can really make a big difference.
I’ve been blessed to have had a pretty good trajectory of mental health care. There were some bumps in the road, but service providers have kept me out of the hospital, despite having bipolar II and bouts with suicidal thoughts myself. I have never felt mentally healthier than I do today. I attribute that to the good therapy I have gotten over the past few years.