SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It has been two weeks since Stephen Boss, the beloved Ellen DeGeneres Show DJ known as tWitch, died by suicide.

His death has renewed the national conversation surrounding suicide, and the role social media plays in masking the potential signs that someone is in crisis. We’re diving into that this Wellness Wednesday with mental health expert Mary Jo Horton from Memorial Health. Below are some of her tips for creating a culture of open, authentic communication.

Authenticity and Vulnerability:
• Being comfortable to be who you really are and sharing it with others
• It is challenging when we live in a world that judges our presentation
• When people are not in an open environment, the risk of depression and suicide increases
• The culture of our communities and families shapes how we present ourselves

Strategies for Connection:
• Engaging in social media with knowledge of its surface-only presentation
• Remembering to connect outside of social media through real-time conversation
• Setting the tone with the words we choose to communicate acceptance and love
• We all play a role in how our environment accepts honest conversation

If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988, 24 hours a day.