08/18/2014 08:28 am ET Updated Oct 18, 2014

We're Stronger Together When We Have a Real Conversation About Mental Health

The death of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams was emotional for people all across the world, but for those who are familiar with depression, it resonated on a deeper level.

His passing sparked valuable conversations about the deep throes of mental illness. What is it really like to deal with a mental health disorder in America? What can we do about these issues as a society? It's those conversations that need to continue far beyond the last news story.

Despite the fact that approximately one in four people are affected by mental illness, studies suggest that there is still a stigma when it comes to these disorders. According to the CDC, only 25 percent of people who suffer from mental health symptoms feel that people are caring and sympathetic toward people struggling with mental illness. If so many people are battling these issues, why should they be a secret?

That's why we created Stronger Together. It's an in-depth look at what's like to suffer from these disorders today and how we can better address them in the future. It's a cathartic outlet to share your story about what it really means to face depression.

Stronger Together is a sign that you're not alone. But, most importantly, it's a way to have an open dialogue about mental illness.

Have a story about depression that you'd like to share? Email, or give us a call at (860) 348-3376, and you can record your story in your own words. Please be sure to include your name and phone number.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.