Robin Williams: Sad Anniversary Of Comedian’s Death Casts Light On Suicide

Robin Williams died one year ago today (Aug. 11, 2014), and the anniversary of his passing has caused a fresh outpouring of remembrance on social media.

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Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robin Williams’ co-star from The Crazy Ones, remembered her TV father in a touching Instagram tribute. Gellar posted an image of the park bench from Good Will Hunting, which became something of a touchstone in the immediate aftermath of his death, and then posted a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, closing it with “You succeeded RW.”

Certainly, as an actor, Robin Williams was incredibly successful, covering the gamut of genres from family viewing in Flubber and Aladdin to the more serious drama Good Will Hunting, for which he won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. However, it has been with his passing that Robin Williams sparked an incredibly important conversation, and this conversation has been revisited with the marking of the one-year anniversary of his death.

Glenn Beck held a conversation on his show the day after Robin Williams’ suicide and, according to Huffington Post writer Dese’Rae L. Stage, handled the issue of suicide with a great deal of sensitivity. Beck’s target demographic, white men, also comprise the greatest numbers of those who successfully complete suicide; white men accounted for 29,000 out of the 41,000 suicide deaths in 2013.

As far as the suicide of Robin Williams is concerned, his was only one of 100 completed suicides Aug. 11, 2014. According to E! News, his daughter Zelda acknowledged her father’s struggle with depression and said that those dealing with the mental health stigma were bigger fighters than many realize.

Williams is currently taking some time off of social media in the wake of the anniversary of her father’s death. What the untimely death of Robin Williams has shown, though, is that even those who seem lighthearted and happy may be living through the darkest of thoughts even when they are trying to put a good face on things.

Stage noted that while many tore apart the Academy for their touching tribute to Robin Williams and even trolled his daughter on Twitter, the focus should have been promoting further suicide awareness. A year out from his death, it would seem that Robin Williams has added the role of suicide awareness advocate to his resume.

Stage, who lists suicide awareness advocate among her credentials, says that it is important to continue to raise awareness about suicide and to use Robin Williams’ legacy for good rather than focus on the bad that people tried to spin out of his untimely death.

“Robin Williams was a kind man, noted for his good deeds and the joy he brought to so many of our lives,” Stage noted. “Our words can save lives. Let’s honor Robin Williams’ legacy by using them.”

For further information about suicide awareness and prevention, go to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.

[Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]