PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The death by suicide of Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, best known as the longtime DJ for the Ellen DeGeneres show, sent shock waves through social media.

The 40-year-old DJ, dancer, producer, husband and father of three just celebrated his ninth wedding anniversary. His most recent social media post was just a few days showing him dancing with his wife by their Christmas tree.

“There’s this interesting term called smiling depression,” said Riverside Behavioral Health Center President, Stacey Johnson. She explained to 10 On Your Side that even the most put together people may be hiding pain.

“People don’t want to burden others with their feelings or with what could potentially be a mental illness, and then there’s this second kind of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ philosophy that if I look happy I’ll become happy,” she said.

Suicide is on the rise in the Black community, up 30% between 2014 and 2019, according to a published report.

While we do not know tWitch’s private circumstances, his passing, Johnson said, is a reminder we should all check in on family and friends, even those who seem strong.

Johnson points out, “A societal normal greeting here is, ‘Hey how you doing?’ but are people really asking you truly how you’re doing?”

Her advice is don’t sit on the surface; dive right in and ask people, “Are you stressed? Is anything making you unhappy?”

“Let’s get comfortable having difficult conversations. I think it’s just so critical to our well being as humans,” Johnson told WAVY.

If the person you’re asking answers that they’re not ok or you feel they’re not, you can offer to go with them to get help. If they refuse and you think the person is in danger, call 988 or text 741-741 and connect with someone who can intervene.