HARRISON - The death of actor Robin Williams has sparked a national conversation about depression and suicide

Police confirmed Williams was found dead after taking his own life and his spokesperson said he had battled depression for years. Dr. Steven Shainmark, a psychiatrist at St. Vincent's Hospital in Harrison, says if there is anything positive to come from Williams' death, it is that it has people talking about these issues.

Shainmark says the most important thing for people who suffer from mental illness is to not suffer alone or ignore their problems.

Doctors say almost 40,000 people commit suicide in America each year.