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Robin Williams’ son visits Nebraska with healing advice on suicide prevention, mental health

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - “I could make a difference in so many ways that just saying, ‘It’s ok to not be ok,’” said Zak Williams.

Zak Williams honors his father, actor and comedian Robin Williams, by getting his story there. Dealing with the stigma surrounding the topic itself with self-medicating and PTSD.

One often full of silence.

“I usually don’t get nervous for these things. It’s been a while,” said Zak.

For the first time since the pandemic, Zak Williams took his message on the road and in person. His audience of 680 difference-makers in the would of suicide prevention and mental health.

“It’s a weird feeling to be around so many survivors and families who have faced the brunt of what mental health can do to your loved ones,” said Zak.

The Kim Foundation invited him to Nebraska to help recognize its 20th year of being a compassionate resource for those impacted by mental illness in the Omaha metro.

“I wake up each morning and write down what I’m grateful for. First and foremost, my kids and family,” said Zak.

It took him a few years to recognize how to navigate what was going on inside.

“The thing I discovered, just by showing up actually, it was extremely healing to be there for service. I started volunteering at a prison teaching financial literacy. This was helpful. It’s something I can do for myself that was healing,” said Zak.

He doesn’t shy away from sharing his love for his father and how he helped people laugh.

“Two actually. Dead Poet’s Society and Good Morning Vietnam,” said Zak.

He says Good Morning Vietnam showed the youthful energy of his dad, the way he remembers him.

Zak Williams vowed to keep the conversation going and after today, it’s clear to him that he’s not alone.

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