Chattanooga Comics and Medical Professionals Feel The Sudden Death of Robin Williams Puts Attention Back On Mental Health

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Updated: 8/12 7:11 pm
CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-An Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Golden Globe Winner but also the man that made millions laugh around the world.
        Robin Williams' death allegedly through suicide has left fans shocked and distraught but experts say nearly half of all comedians in the US suffer from some form of depression or anxiety.

Local comics right here in Chattanooga at the Comedy Catch say they understand the situation Robin Williams was facing and say comedy can often hide and mask real problems.

Jerry Harvey, Comic, Comedy Catch Chattanooga,"We see things and are like what's the point, what's the difference so we make fun of that and in turn we laugh we like to see other people laugh, that is in my opinion a treatment of sorts for the depression itself"

Harvey a comic for the past ten years says Williams is just the most high profile comic who has died in recent years and says he along with many other comedians are struggling behind the laughs and skits.

"Laughter in my opinion heals so many things, to lose someone like Robin Williams and we have lost a lot of comics this year, local comics, regional comics, national comics, those are angels that can never be replaced"

At Parkridge Valley Hospitals social worker Farlie Chastain believes the pressure and attention put on our celebrities and entertainers often leaves them with poor mental health.

"You are constantly under the microscope and scrutiny you have to have some pretty good coping skills to be able to de-stress, one of the pitfalls that people in the public eye fall to is substances"

Chastain asks that those watching who have a friend, neighbor or family member with depression should offer to help before it's too late.

"Someone to listen can make a huge difference between that decision of a suicide attempt or treatment and its real important we have way too many resources in the Chattanooga area"

     Research from the CDC now shows that suicide and depression in men in their 50s and 60s has risen by a staggering 50 percent in the past decade.

Williams was last seen alive on Sunday and battled drug and alcohol addiction throughout his life and spent time in rehab this summer.


For More Information:

423-622-6848 Parkridge Valley Mental Health,
Suicide Help Line 423 552-4636,
Licensed Social Workers 423 899-5087,
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