As tributes continue to pour in for famed dancer, DJ and reality-TV star Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, who died by suicide this week, his death has shined a light on mental health awareness. 

On social media, Boss was seen doing what he loved, dancing with friends or alongside his wife of nine years, Allison Holker, happiness seemingly exuding from the couple. But experts say what we see online may not always be what someone is experiencing internally.  

“It’s entirely possible that he was struggling quietly and suffered quietly and never told anybody,” said Los Angeles-based psychotherapist John Tsilimparis.

According to TMZ, Holker told police that her husband left home without warning, that there was no argument or issue, but that he wouldn’t answer her calls.  

Hours later, Boss was discovered dead in an Encino hotel room.  

“The way that someone appears in public, and maybe in their professional lives, does not necessarily reflect what they are feeling inside,” Tsilimparis told KTLA’s Pedro Rivera.  

A practicing psychiatrist for 29 years, Tsilimparis believes part of the problem is the stigma against mental health issues, which he says is not being treated on par with other medical conditions.  

“The same way human organs can malfunction at no fault of their own, why can’t the brain?” he said.  

Earlier on Thursday, Ellen DeGeneres posted another video paying tribute to Boss, the DJ on her show, using the hashtag “ILovetWitch,” sharing a moment from the final episode of their hit show.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates are typically the lowest leading up to the holidays. Still, suicide remains a major health issue with someone taking their own life every 11 minutes.  

It’s why Tsilimparis believes it’s time to help those who may be internalizing their pain by changing how society treats mental illness.  

“You know what, we just suffer in silence, and we say, ‘Why even bother? I’m not going to tell anybody. Maybe it’s true, maybe I am a weak person,’ and that’s society talking. That’s not true,” Tsilimparis explained.  

The psychotherapist also recommends that the next time you ask someone how they’re doing, really mean it, and give them a chance to share whatever is on their minds.  

If you or anyone you love is experiencing mental health issues or suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. You can call or text the number 988, which will direct you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

It is free and available 24 hours a day.