Robin Williams' Son to Speak at W. MI's Mental Health Gala

Robin Williams’ Son to Speak at W. MI’s Mental Health Gala

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The son of the late comic genius Robin Williams will speak at an event in Meijer Gardens hosted by a local mental health organization for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

The I understand organization is hosting a special event on Thursday featuring Zak Williams as keynote speaker. He spoke to News 8 about seeing his father suffer mentally, which he says happens to people all over the world.

“It happens to millions of people every year. My experience was one of trauma. I was doing unhealthy things like self-medicating with alcohol. And in my experience, I had to figure out what I needed to heal pretty quickly,” Williams said.

He said “mental hygiene” has become important to staying healthy in his day-to-day life.

“My experience around trauma and the loss of a loved one has been, has been one of losing, in some ways, the foundations, the foundations, that I had expected and taken for granted most of of my life. Watching a parent struggle, I felt helpless in so many ways,” Williams said.

“I want to share my healing journey because ultimately, I hope others can find their own way to heal from their experiences and traumas,” he said.

Williams said the first step in healing after her father’s death was to recognize that he was avoiding what he was going through.

“I was doing things to feel numb, I was isolating myself. And I had to solve these problems before I embarked on any meaningful work. So you need to identify what you’re doing so you don’t fix problems or look inside. Because looking inside can be really scary and that was scary for me,” Williams recounted.

He hopes people who hear him speak at the I Understanding gala will find their personal path to happiness.

“I want people to be happy and I hope they can find that happiness through meaningful work… If a person walks away saying, ‘Hey, I think I know the direction I want take to find and maintain happiness.

To learn more about I Understand or if you or a loved one has mental health issues, visit I understand the site.

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