Robin William’s death leads to more depression awareness!

Robin_Williams_2011a_(2)Noted actor, comedian Robin Williams struggled with substance abuse and severe depression for many years.  His death, caused by an apparent suicide,  leads all of us to examine our mental states.


According to the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Depression Center, one in six people will experience an episode of depression in their lifetime. Although depression is a common illness, it is often underdiagnosed and undertreated.. Like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, depression is a serious, chronic condition that ranks among the leading causes of disability worldwide.


Depression does not discriminate. It affects men and women of all ages and cultural and economic backgrounds. Individuals with depression and the loved ones who support them have suffered without help or hope for too long.


WKTV’s Citizen Journalism program had the chance to examine the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center (UMDC). Established in 2001, it is the first of its kind devoted entirely to bringing depression into the mainstream of medical research, translational care, education, and public policy. The Center is at the forefront in changing the paradigm of how depression and bipolar illnesses are understood and treated.


Their vision is the following:   Depression’s stigma will be a vestige of the past; people will be empowered with knowledge; better detection, outcomes, and fewer recurrences will be a reality; and prevention will no longer be a dream.

Resources for wellness

Depression can be a difficult illness to understand, particularly since no two people experience it in the same way. As part of the Depression Center’s mission to counteract stigma and prevent recurrences and progression, we provide clear, evidence-based information in a variety of formats to help people understand depression’s causes, its symptoms, and prevention and treatment options.


Our site provides the latest information on depression, bipolar illness, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse from leading experts in these fields. The Depression Toolkit stresses highly effective “self-management” techniques, offering a wealth of tools and other resources to help individuals with depression and related illnesses gain greater understanding about their condition, take charge of their wellness, and work toward improving their symptoms. It allows individuals to more actively participate in their own care and collaborate with their clinicians on their treatment plans. Visit the Depression Toolkit site to learn more:


Visitors to the Rachel Upjohn Building can browse the Friends Depression Education Resource Center’s lending library of print and video materials, including free brochures, pamphlets, and articles focusing on a wide variety of depressive disorders, as well as computer access to reliable mental health information websites. The Depression Center has also produced a range of brochures, factsheets, worksheets, and other tools that are available for downloading from our website.


This is the first of many articles which will address the issue of depression and programs available for treatment.    Go to their website, to learn more:



2 thoughts on “Robin William’s death leads to more depression awareness!

  1. Thank you for the timely – and important – message. So many people suffer and unfortunately the stigma is still out there. Likely always will be. Many people think those affected by depression just need to “Suck it up.” Sometimes even the person affected thinks the same, and therefore they do not seek help.

    Unfortunately sometimes a public tragedy such as this is what needs to happen to bring an important issue to the forefront.

    Again, thank you for such an important article, filled with many resources.

  2. Thanks Michele, Robin Williams death led us all to examine issues of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. The Ann Arbor facility is a great one. Warmest Regards, Colleen

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