Local Mental Health Officials Address Depression Following Robin Williams Suicide

Robin Williams suicide has a lot of people talking about depression, how we view it as a society, and how communities deal with this mental illness.

Medical professionals in Jacksonville say it's unfortunate it takes something so tragic to get people talking and raise awareness.

Jay Kortemeyer, CEO of Brynn Marr Hospital, says the subject of mental illness is taboo for many, but not treating the disease can lead to a fatal outcome.

Kortemeyer says, "Unfortunately with mental illness, there is a stigma with mental illness today. People don't really want to be able to identify that they have that illness and receive treatment for that until its too late. Unfortunately some do commit suicide and that's a symptom of that illness."

While Robin Williams was open with his depression and had sought help over the years, the lack of community support around mental illness causes some people to hide themselves away.

So who can fall victim to depression and what can we do to help them?

Kortemeyer says, "Anybody today can be affected by mental illness. Unfortunately, this is why it's so important to be able to identify the signs and symptoms so that you can get help right away."

Kortemeyer says signs and symptoms to look for include isolation, lack of appetite and a decreased interest in human interaction. He says if you see these signs in your loved ones be sure to get them help.