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Robin Williams' son opens up about being left "traumatised" by his dad's death

Publish Date
Tue, 20 Aug 2019, 2:26PM

Robin Williams' son opens up about being left "traumatised" by his dad's death

Publish Date
Tue, 20 Aug 2019, 2:26PM

Robin Williams' son had admitted he was left "traumatised" by his late father's death.

The iconic actor and star of such films as Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs Doubtfire took his own life in 2014, at the age of 63.

Now his son Zak Williams has revealed he turned to teaching in prisons following Robin's death, as it helped him "heal and cope with the trauma."

Speaking in a Q&A with mental health chat community 18percent, the 36-year-old 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 Pym Williams with his father Robin Williams in 2012. Photo / Getty

Zak - who 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 - says he has now learnt how to properly manage his mental health through his charity work, as he says he was left "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 me 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."

READ MORE:
• Robin Williams' son pays touching tribute to his dad with newborn son's name

Since working with the charities, Zak - who named his son McLaurin Clement, whose first name is the middle moniker of the Jumanji star - has discovered healthier ways to cope with loss, and now wants to teach others how to heal.

"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."

 

Where to get help:

 Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
 Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
 Youth services: (06) 3555 906
 Youthline: 0800 376 633
 Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
 Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
 The Word
 Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
 Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
 CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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