The Canadian actor graciously accepted the Robin Williams Legacy of Laughter Award at last week’s star-studded gala in Manhattan. He shared photos on Monday from the evening before earnestly reflecting on the late comedic legend man behind the titular award.
“I miss Robin Williams. Pretty sure everyone does,” Reynolds wrote on Instagram.
“His kids have turned his legacy into a living, breathing love-letter for good,” the 46-year-old continued. “It was a crazy honour to receive the Robin Williams Legacy Award last week at the annual Bring Change To Mind gala in NYC.”
Bring Change To Mind has been fighting and “eradicating stigma, normalising mental health conversations, and empowering people to share their stories” since 2009. Co-founded by Glenn Close, created alongside the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the charity holds an annual fundraiser that awards one entertainer annually.
“The incomparable [Glenn Close] started [Bring Change To Mind], whose mission is to end stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness,” Reynolds wrote Monday. “Glenn literally saves lives by making space for these conversations. I love this woman.”
Williams died by suicide in 2014 after fighting substance abuse issues and depression. It was only after his death that doctors were able to diagnose him with Lewy body dementia, a disease that impacts sleep, behavior, cognition and bodily autonomy, per the Mayo Clinic.
“I am utterly heartbroken,” his wife Susan Schneider wrote at the time, per NBC Bay Area.
“On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief,” she continued. “As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
Reynolds, who shares four kids with Blake Lively, told People at the gala that their mental health is the most important thing. The Deadpool star explained his family mantra plainly: “Not be happy, not be anything, just be self-aware and welcome everything in.”
For Close, who commented on Reynolds’ post, his attendance meant everything.
“In these dark days, laughter has become a survival tactic,” she wrote. “It doesn’t mean we don’t care. It means we are connected to what makes us human ― the ability to find love, laughter and kindness in spite of the pain and horror. Love you, dear Ryan.”
Help and support:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
- CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email email@example.com
- Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.