Much is being said and written about the apparent suicide of the genius Robin Williams [“Actor Robin Williams dies at 63,” Nation & World, Aug. 11]. It is a tremendous loss to all who enjoyed good entertainment, good deeds and real talent.
Much is also being said about the fact that Williams suffered for years with severe depression. I hope that this brilliant man’s disclosure of his demons and subsequent death pushes society to seriously look at, discuss, understand and support services for this and other mental-health diseases that affect people of all ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic strata.
In King County, we are fortunate to have an association of 16 agencies located throughout the county focused on serving the mental-health, emotional and behavioral needs of youths and families through professional counseling, education and other support services. The services provided by these agencies target the youths, but the benefits extend to the entire community by stabilizing the lives of the youths, stabilizing families, reducing crime, increasing school completion and improving employability.
Jeri R. White, executive director of Southeast Youth and Family Services, Seattle