According to CNN, Robin Williams took his life today. He was 63 years old.
Williams should be remembered for creative talent in comedy and acting, and as Larry King also mentioned, he should be remembered as a “genuine caring guy.”
Williams appeared to “have it all” in so many ways- marriage, family, money, a career in the competitive world of show business, unbridled talent.
He had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and had dealt with addiction to alcohol and cocaine. He publicly addressed his disease and his decision to go to rehab. Even with all the resources possible at his disposal, he still got to a place that was so dark he could not find his way back.
My hope is that he will someday be remembered as the guy who tipped the scales on the stigma of mental illness. Maybe Robin Williams’ death can become the tipping point for change.
The point where we accepted that mental illness is a disease that needs to be acknowledged without stigma.
The point where we realized that we need to help all people with their depression, mania or psychosis.
The point where we realized that money spent on mental health is a great investment in our community.
The point where we realized that it might make sense to offer voluntary screening programs to determine who is at risk for mental illness, and be able to offer intervention for those that need it and want it.
The point where we can say
“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won”