August 12, 2014 9:48 pm
Updated: August 12, 2014 11:56 pm

Robin Williams’ death opens up an important conversation about mental health


WATCH ABOVE: Robin Williams’ suicide has sparked a national conversation about depression. Linda Aylesworth looks at the gaps in the system many say need to be fixed to help those who suffer in silence.

VANCOUVER – Robin Williams’ death and his honesty about his struggle with depression and drugs seems to be opening an important conversation about mental health, including the fact that clinical depression is not uncommon.

It will affect one in 10 people in the course of their lifetimes.

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On a positive note, an increasing number of people recognize mental illness is a disease, not a weakness. This is allowing a growing number of those who suffer to come forward, ask for, and get the help they need.

“I hope, at the very least, that it’s a reminder that anyone can be affected,” said Sarah Hamid-Balma from the Canadian Mental Health Association. “Regardless of how successful you are, how competent you are in your job. And that also it’s serious, that family members, or friends, who think ‘oh they’re just depressed’, that they remember if left unchecked, you know, depression can be fatal.”

WATCH: Amanda Todd’s mom, Carol, joins Aaron McArthur to talk about the issue of mental healt and depression following the news of Robin Williams’ suicide.

– With files from Linda Aylesworth

© 2014 Shaw Media

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