Actress's 16-year-old brother dies by suicide: police

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Actress Nadine Lustre posted on October 10 two photos on her Instagram stories: one is of a semicolon with the hashtag #KeepGoing, and another one saying "you are stronger than depression."

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 12) — The 16-year-old brother of actress Nadine Lustre allegedly died by suicide, police said.

Isaiah Lustre was found lifeless on October 8 in their house in Quezon City, the Quezon City Police Department (QCPD) said. It added that they recovered an empty shell of a .38 caliber gun at the scene.

Police refused to give any more details about the incident, out of respect for the family's wishes.

The QCPD said the Lustre family refused an investigation on the incident since they are convinced that the teenager died by suicide.

Two days after her brother's death, Nadine Lustre, 22 posted two Instagram stories: one of a semicolon with the hashtag #KeepGoing; and another which read "You are stronger than depression."

October 10 is observed as World Mental Health Day. The semicolon is used by a nonprofit American mental health organization Project Semicolon. The semicolon symbolizes efforts to prevent suicide and urges people living with depression to seek help because "Your story is not yet over."

Legislation on integrating mental health services to the public health system is gaining traction in the Philippines after the Senate passed on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 1354 or the Philippine Mental Health Law.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, one of the proponents of the bill, cited the Department of Health statistics that 1 in 5 Filipino adults have some form of mental illness, with schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety as the most common illnesses.

The Health department, during the observation of the National Suicide Prevention Week in September, said suicide is preventable.

"One must understand that there is no single approach to resolve an issue as complex as suicide, but talking more openly about it and helping those in distress is a good start of preventing it," the Health department said in a press release.

READ: The reality of suicide in the Philippines

Mental health advocates also say joining support groups can help people with depression.

READ: Support groups 'a start' for those with mental health issues - advocates

Warning signs of suicidal behaviors include withdrawing from friends, expressing hopelessness, mentions of suicide, and engaging in self-harm, among others.

Close to 800,000 people die of suicide every year worldwide, said the World Health Organization.

If you or someone you know is depressed and expresses thoughts of suicide, know that help is available. Call the hotline, HOPELINE, at (02) 804 4673, (0917) 558-4673 or 2919 toll free for Globe and TM subscribers.