MENTAL health bosses are calling on those struggling with depression to get help urgently following the death of Hollywood star Robin Williams.
The 63-year-old actor and comedian, famous for roles in Mrs Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, Jack and Hook, was found dead at his home earlier this week following a suspected suicide.
Dad-of-three Williams, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Good Will Hunting, had an ongoing problem with depression.
Following his death, workers at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), which covers Sunderland, are offering advice to people about help and support available for those suffering from depression.
NTW has produced an information booklet which includes advice to help those experiencing symptoms of the illness.
Director of nursing and operations, Gary O’Hare, said: “Depression is a common problem and many of us will, at some time, experience the symptoms which include feeling sad, feeling alone, having a lack of energy and experiencing sleep problems.
“For many people, depression doesn’t stop them from leading a normal life but the most severe depression can be life threatening.”
A copy of the booklet can be downloaded by going to www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp.
East Durham Trust, based in Peterlee, which launched its Let’s Talk East Durham project to help tackle the taboo of mental health, issued a statement following news of the actor’s death.
It said: “Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it’s not a sign of weakness or something you can ‘snap out of’ by ‘pulling yourself together’. Please ask for help. Make an appointment with your GP or if you want to talk to someone now, in confidence, call Samaritans on 08457 909090.”