Mental Illness Relapse

As a mental health worker, I am always concerned about how first responders treat mental health concerns and crises (such as safety checks and suicide attempts). Safety checks are when law enforcement checks on someone who has been reported in danger or will possibly harm himself or others. Here in Toledo, suicide attempts are taken very seriously by emergency services. However, safety checks are of low priority. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
I've resisted recovery for all kinds of reasons, including because I was sick of trying to be perfect. I spent most of my adolescence trying not to be like other teenagers, not to go through "phases" or be bad. I tried so hard to do things "right." When mental illness appeared in my life, I could barely do things at all, let alone do them "right," so I got angry.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to hear voices? Hearing voices is a classic symptom of schizophrenia. The bad news is, they're sheer torture. The good news is, medication can help--I haven't heard voices in several years. But for those of you who wonder, here's what it's like to hear voices.
I lost a friend to suicide last week.  A friend who struggled, triumphed and sadly, lost the battle with his mind.  I have witnessed many of my friends and loved ones struggle with mental illness and it is heartbreaking on many levels. Yet a *blessing* appeared in the form of a friend who experienced watching another friend’s depression and wanted to understand the cycle of depression better.  I will share with you what my response was.