On the Passing of Robin Williams

On the Passing of Robin Williams

Robin Williams’ suicide has become a prelude to a brief and intense opening in our collective consciousness about the torment of depression and addiction. As this moment in time dissipates, and it will, please know that these are the issues that North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center addresses each and every day, year-round. The number of emergency calls to the Guidance Center, many involving depression, addiction and suicidal intent of young people, have reached 40% of all those who seek our services. Through our triage and emergency services we respond rapidly to these calls, embrace families through their most excruciating of times and hold their hands as we seek the way to the other side of their torment.

What better way to put Williams’ death into some perspective than to share an excerpt from a brilliant essay written by fellow comedian Russell Brand. He said of Williams:

“. . . Robin Williams could have tapped anyone in the western world on the shoulder and told them he felt down and they would have told him not to worry, that he was great, that they loved him. He must have known that. He must have known his wife and kids loved him, that his mates all thought he was great, that millions of strangers the world over held him in their hearts, a hilarious stranger that we could rely on to anarchically interrupt, the all-encompassing sadness of the world. Today Robin Williams is part of the sad narrative that we used to turn to him to disrupt. What platitudes then can we fling along with the listless, insufficient wreaths at the stillness that was once so animated and wired, the silence where the laughter was? That fame and accolades are no defense against mental illness and addiction? That we live in a world that has become so negligent of human values that our brightest lights are extinguishing themselves? That we must be more vigilant, more aware, more grateful, more mindful? That we can’t tarnish this tiny slice of awareness that we share on this sphere amidst the infinite blackness with conflict and hate? That we must reach inward and outward to the light that is inside all of us? That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore? Do you have time to tune in to Fox News, to cement your angry views to calcify the certain misery? What I might do is watch Mrs. Doubtfire or Dead Poets Society or Good Will Hunting and I might be nice to people, mindful today how fragile we all are, how delicate we are, even when fizzing with divine madness that seems like it will never expire.”

If you or your neighbors need our help, please know that North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is just a phone call away – 516-626-1971.