Robin Williams' suicide brings greater awareness to mental illne - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Robin Williams' suicide brings greater awareness to mental illness

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. – The suicide of comedian and actor Robin Williams has brought mental illness and suicide awareness to the forefront. 

Williams suffered from substance abuse and depression for a number of years, despite wearing a smile to make people laugh on and off the big screen.  A preliminary investigation has revealed that Williams’ cause of death was suicide due to asphyxia. Williams, 63, was known for his roles in “Good Will Hunting”, “Dead Poets Society”, “Hook”, and “Mrs. Doubtfire”.  

The Center of Disease Control states that 1 in 10 Americans suffers from depression, making Williams just one of many. Many factors can cause depression, including genetics, alcohol or drug abuse, medical conditions and treatments, or stressful life events. 

Depression is described as a mood disorder that causes people to feel sad, hopeless, and unmotivated for long periods of time, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). It can be a debilitating illness that causes everyday functioning to become difficult. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 90-percent of people who commit suicide have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Those mental illnesses associated with suicide include depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, among many others. 

There are a number of sources across the country that can be utilized for free for those suffering from suicidal thoughts and tendencies. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has 161 crisis centers across the country. The hotline can be reached at 188-273-TALK 24 hours a day throughout the year. There are also apps available on the iPhone and Android for suicide safety plans. 

Here is a full list of help lines for the Capital Region:

Albany County Mobile Crisis - (518) 549-6500 

UAlbany Middle Earth hotline (518)-442-5800

Bennington County United Counseling Service  802-442-5491

Berkshire County 413-499-0412 or toll free by calling 1-800-252-0227.

Columbia County Mental Health Department Crisis Line - (518) 828-9446

Columbia County Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center - (518) 689-4673

Fulton County St. Mary's Mental Health Hotline - (518) 842-9111

Greene County Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center - (518) 689-4673

Montgomery County St. Mary's Mental Health Hotline - (518) 842-9111

Rensselaer County National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - (800) 273-TALK (8255), TTY line: 800-799-4889

Saratoga County Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center - (518) 689-4673

Saratoga County Crisis Line - (518) 584-9030

Schenectady County Ellis Hospital Mental Health Clinic - (518) 243-3300

Schenectady County Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center - (518) 689-4673

Schoharie County Crisis Service 8:30am-5:30pm (518) 295-8336; after hours Bassett Hospital Crisis Center - (607) 431-5412 or (877) 369-6699

Warren County Crisis Line of the Crisis Department of Samaritan Hospital - (518) 274-4345

Warren County Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center - (518) 689-4673

Washington County Crisis Line of the Crisis Department of Samaritan Hospital - (518) 274-4345

Washington County Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center - (518) 689-4673

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