Actor's death renews call to fight depression

Actor's death renews call to fight depression

The death of actor Robin Williams has again raised awareness of depression and substance abuse, and a local mental health expert has advice for individuals who may be coping with depression or who want to help others deal with depression.

Sheila Ferguson is the CEO of Community Elements, a behavioral and mental health organization serving Champaign County.  She said talking to someone who may suffer from depression is the number one priority.

Ferguson said the key signs to watch for are previous suicide attempts, financial or social crisis or prolonged substance abuse.  But she said the biggest hurdle is often the stigma associated with depression.

Community Elements offers a crisis line you can call at 217-359-4141.  It also offers walk-in screenings to help to determine what services might be needed. The screenings are available during the week at the downtown Champaign offices of Community Elements at 801 North Walnut Street.

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