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Mourning the Death of Robin Williams is Not Enough

August 12, 2014
Yesterday marked a sad day for everyone who grew up watching and listening to Robin Williams, a talented comedian and actor.  Mr. Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide in his North California home. His brand of comedy, while sometimes brash, was always accompanied by a twinkle in his eye. From Mrs. Doubtfire to the genie in Aladdin, it left us happy and smiling. He will be missed, and his death should serve as a reminder for all of us that mental illness is never something to be ignored. 
It is not enough, however, to express your sadness at his passing. Rather than simply mourning Mr. Williams, use this as a personal call to action. Help those around you.  Educate yourself on mental illness.  Reach out to others that may need help.  Provide information to your friends and family.
The Rostocki Law Firm often sees the tragic wake that follows mental illness.  Even in situations which do not involve consequences like those suffered by Mr. Williams, RLF knows how difficult it can be for those around the ill person, both family and friends. These are the ones who must try to guide that person on a safe path through life.  The task can be overwhelming for just one or two people.  If you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental illness, please do not try to handle it by yourself.  Below is the contact information for several different organizations in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey that can help, in many cases for free.
In Pennsylvania:
PA Association of County Administrators of Mental Health and Developmental Services
(resources by County in Pennsylvania; includes phone numbers)
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (Pennsylvania)
In New Jersey:
NJ Dept. of Human Services - Division of Mental Health Services
Suicide Prevention Hotline: (855) 654-6735
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (New Jersey)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
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