Los Angeles: Kim Kardashian has spoken out about the ‘taboo’ of mental illness. Although the 34-year-old star is best known for her devotion to fashion and love of selfies, she’s showing a more serious side with her latest project. Kim has produced a documentary for TV channel HLN called #RedFlag, which looks at issues of mental health.

‘For me, I have experienced so many friends who have suffered from depression and other mental illnesses. And because I’ve never experienced it, I don’t understand it,’ she explained during a Google hangout to promote the film. ‘I wanted to really inform myself because it’s not just something that you can snap out of.’

Although the star didn’t clarify her comments, there have been reports that her brother Rob is suffering from depression. He has put on weight and now rarely leaves his sister Khloé’s home, which is where he now lives.–BFT

In the family’s TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim has regularly been seen encouraging her loved ones to take a tough love approach toward her brother in an effort to force him to make more effort with life.

‘I just started to see too many people around me suffer, and I couldn’t give them advice for where they should go to get help,’ she explained. ‘And so I wanted to really inform myself and try to help inform other people and bring awareness to [the issue].’

It seems Kim’s stance towards people suffering these kinds of issues has softened a great deal. She is now hoping to use her worldwide stardom to teach people about mental health, and to show people they shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for help.

‘It’s something that I feel is a little bit taboo,’ she said. ‘I also think it’s hard for people to admit they have a mental illness and I want them to know it’s OK. And there is help available.’

This weekend a special of Kim’s reality programme will air, centring on her step-father Bruce Jenner’s transition to a woman. Bruce confirmed he identifies as female in an interview last month and Kim has spoken of how important it is to her family to be open about what they are going through, in the hope it will help others in their situation cope.