Local mother speaks out about daughter's suicide

Experts at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline say they are receiving more calls than usual and say Robin Williams' death is one of the reasons.

ABC7 News spoke with one local mother who lost her adult daughter to suicide, a case with eerie similarities to Williams.

A greater awareness or more open discussion of depression is what those touched by the illness are hoping for now in the wake of Robin Williams' death.

"She was like I said, very accomplished and very high energy," Teresa Ferguson said.

Ferguson knows well what the family of Robin Williams is going through. She lost her 31-year-old daughter Ginny Kleker to suicide 6 years ago -- the method was hanging.

"Eventually, she just gave up hope that she was ever going to get better. And in fact, one of the final things she said was 'I don't think I can ever have kids. So, how can I get married knowing I can't never have kids because I can't take care of myself,"' Ferguson said.

Since Kleker's death, Ferguson has devoted much of her energy to an organization called Out of the Darkness, a national foundation dedicated to suicide prevention.

Knowing the star battled depression, Ferguson recently tried to contact Williams' publicist to see if he might speak at their October March in Oakland.

"This just happened yesterday. I've already had a number of patients who have talked about it today," Berkeley psychiatrist Dr. Robert Dolgoff said.

Dolgoff says Williams' suicide has prompted some patients to talk about things they might not have, otherwise.

"About how upset they were about it and its lead to a discussion about suicide and about their safety also. It raises people's awareness that this is an illness, that it's a serious illness, that we have to take it seriously and that there's treatment available," Dolgoff said.

"There are still many, many people who won't even admit that their child died by suicide. There's something wrong with that you know? We have to get to the point where we see this as an illness, a disease that needs to be treated," Ferguson said.

Like Williams, Ferguson says it appeared her daughter had everything to live for such as, a successful career. And at the time of her death, Kleker was engaged to be married.
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