Local News

Aug 18, 2014 6:22 PM by Caroline Flores - cflores@kristv.com

Robin Williams Death Bringing Attention to Suicide and Depression

CORPUS CHRISTI - The death of Robin Williams has brought a lot of attention to suicide and depression. As a local psychologist says, depression is a disease that should always be in the public spotlight.

Every year the Nueces County Behavioral Health Center gets hundreds of calls. Many wanting help for depression. Since the death of Robin Williams, and the publicity over his depression, one local psychologist says this disease is finally getting some much needed attention.

"We hear certainly a lot about diabetes and diabetes efforts. Heart disease and breast cancer. Pink ribbons and that kinds of thing. But we don't really see too many people marching for depression," said MHMR Clinical Supervisor Charles Smith.

Smith says the important thing to remember about depression, is that it's treatable. The first step is to ask for help, before it's too late.

"Statically, the most common type of individual to kill themselves is somebody like Robin Williams. A middle aged Anglo male. They have a high suicide rate and that rate has been increasing," said Smith.

According to psychologist Charles Smith, here in Nueces County we average about 36 reported suicides a year.

Smith says if someone is highly considering committing suicide, the last thing they should be is alone. Which brought Smith to one question about Robin Williams' death.

"Did he reach out for help? Or... It seems like... I guess every suicidal person dies alone. It seemed like he was very much alone," said Smith.

Smith says if there is one thing he wants you to learn about depression, is that it's a disease that can be beat and doesn't have to end in suicide.

The Behavioral Health Center's 24-Hour Hotline is 1-888-767-4493.

There is also a support group for "Survivors After Suicide" available through Corpus Christi Family Services.

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