Local Family Raises Awareness For Mental Health - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Local Family Raises Awareness For Mental Health

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It's been almost a week since Robin Williams death sent shockwaves throughout world.  His death hit home for many families with loved ones suffering from depression while shining light on a dark subject. 26-year old Adam Smith was dealing with major depression and took his own life two years ago.  Although his family is still healing, they decided to host a special benefit for him and others dealing with mental illnesses.

"We want to keep Adam's memory alive, for one, and we want to help other people so hopefully families don't have to go through what we've gone through," Gloria Smith said, who is Adam's mom.

"Our hope is that this will save lives and prompt people to talk about it to families or people they trust. It would help them get the help they need whether its from counselors or medications," Meghan Sharp said, who is Adam's sister.  

Hundreds came out to support the benefit. There were local bands playing,  face painting and even a raffle.  His mother says most of the money will go to the Illinois National Alliance on Mental Illness for research. The rest will help local families buy medications they might not otherwise be able to afford. Other family members say although raising money is the goal, they also hope this event helps  families start a conversation about mental health.

"At the dinner table we talk about how was school or daycare? It's important to ask those questions to see how they are feeling and thinking. I try to talk to them about how they are dealing with those feelings," Sharp said.  

Gloria Smith said if she can save the life of at least one person, she'd know she served her purpose. The family is hoping to raise as much as $50,000.



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