Robin Williams’s son was “traumatised” by the late actor’s death
The Jumanji star passed away in 2014 at the age of 63 when he tragically took his own life, and his son Zak Williams has now said he turned to teaching in prisons following his father’s death, as it helped him “heal and cope with the trauma”.
He said: “Well, I was very traumatised after my dad’s death and found that teaching financial literacy in prison helped me heal and cope with the trauma.
“After that I found that being vulnerable and open about my struggles seemed to actually help others. So, I just kind of kept on doing it. I love it as I find it healing personally.”
Zak, 36, is the CEO and co-founder of the mental health support company PYM HealthZak, and is a board member of mental health awareness non-profit Bring Change 2 Mind and the Yerba Buena Centre of the Arts
And through his charity work, he says he has learned how to manage his mental health properly, as he says he began “self-medicating” after Robin’s death and was “generally unhappy”.
He added: “Well, I decided to become an advocate because I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression personally. Found myself self-medicating and generally unhappy so when it came to speaking about my and my family struggles personally it just sort of clicked. In terms of honouring him personally, I have an 11-week-old son so at this point it mainly involves being a present father.”
Since working with the charities, Zak – who named his son McLaurin Clement, McLaurin being the middle moniker of the Mrs. Doubtfire star – has discovered healthier ways to cope with loss, and now wants to teach others how to heal.
Speaking in a Q&A with mental health chat community ’18percent’, he said: “I found that the first fix for me was to learn how to not self-medicate. I was masking the pain with alcohol often and that just made things worse. Eating well and getting outdoors around nature is also really helpful for me. If self-medication isn’t an issue then finding opportunities to connect with people is helpful. Also, exercise!
“What I neglected to do after my dad’s passing was take care of myself. You can’t be there for others if you are not paying attention to your needs and struggles. Take the time to do what you need to do to get through the day first. Then you’ll have a fuller cup to be there for others. Also, support groups were really helpful for me.”
Author: BANG Showbiz