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Robin Williams' son speaks at Foundation of Hope fundraiser in Raleigh

Posted September 24, 2015

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— One in every five adults experience mental illness in any given year. Last year, comedian Robin Williams committed suicide after a bout with severe depression.

On Thursday, Williams’ son, Zak, was in Raleigh to raise awareness and speak at the Thad and Alice Eure Evening of Hope fundraiser.

“It’s been a traumatic year,” Williams said. “I’ve had to heal myself.”

Williams said he doesn’t profess to be an expert of mental illness, but he knows firsthand the profound impact the disease can have.

“As a father he [Robin Williams] was amazing; he was kind and caring,” Williams said. “He wanted me to be the best person I could be, and I miss him dearly.”

The 32-year-old hasn’t spoken in public often since his father died, but Williams said people need to know they’re not alone.

“The fact that he suffered from depression didn't make his death more easy or difficult,” he said. “It highlights an underlying cause that I realize is a greater issue—that people are suffering and need access to resources to treat or heal them, and I want more people to have that access.”

While he thinks his father’s death may have helped raise awareness, Williams said he hopes people remember his true gift—bringing joy to who need it most, like the children at St. Jude’s Hospital and the troops overseas.

“I’d like his legacy to be one of service,” Williams said. “He really understood the importance of giving his time and giving his energy to others.”

Next month the Foundation of Hope will hold its annual Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope.


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