“You’re not alone” Experts discuss mental health ahead of holidays

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -People were in shock after news spread Wednesday of the sudden passing of Stephen Boss aka “tWitch.”

“These celebrities have the picture-perfect lives that everyone thinks of, but deep down they have the problems we’re going through,” said ECU student, Andrew Geneskoy.

According to Boss’ wife Allison, the American Dancer died Tuesday at a hotel after reports say he took his own life.

His unexpected death caught many by surprise, including mental health expert Keith Hamm.

“My initial reaction with his dying by suicide is similar to others,” Hamm said. “I always think to myself, we never know what any person is dealing with.”

The death of the former DJ for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” happened 12 days before Christmas, which is why Hamm is urging that people check on their loved one’s mental state around the holidays.

He said this time of year can be lonely for some who aren’t able to see family and Geneskoy, who is from Massachusetts, said he feels it’s important to lean on friends.

“To know that they’ve got a friend, who’s got their back, which matters the most,” Geneskoy said. “They can turn to them at any time, that’s the biggest part of the season.”

For those who can’t be home during this holiday season, Hamm suggests finding ways to incorporate the feeling of home.

“We need to try to recreate those family traditions or create some new traditions for our holiday,” Hamm said. “It doesn’t have to be anything special; it can be something small, but just trying to make where you are home for you.”

Hamm also wants people to know they should never be afraid to ask for help if they are going through a hard time.

If you or someone you know does need help, you can call the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline anytime at 988.