SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center
Mission and Vision

 Robin Williams, Suicide and Local Resources: A Personal Story


“Robin Williams' death is a painful reminder that exquisite talent and the affection of millions are no sure safeguard against emotional suffering.” - Caroline Miller 

This week I have been privileged to participate in several community discussions about how to help those coping with depression and suicidal feelings.  I have been so proud of our local community for daring to speak out about what has previously been taboo.  As a social worker, I see people who bravely combat suicidal feelings on a daily basis.  As a person who also copes with bipolar depression herself, I have first-hand experience of struggling against these same suicidal thoughts.

Depression kills. If you, like me, are stunned and saddened by the apparent suicide of Robin Williams, you may be wondering what to do.  You can pass along these resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Nevada County Behavioral Health Crisis Line 530-265-5811

Nevada County chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness 530-272-4566

And for free local support groups and free peer counseling, you can visit the SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center. The Depression and Anxiety group meets each Friday at 11 am.    530-274-1431

I’m privileged to work at the SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center where all the staff have coped with some form of emotional challenge ranging from schizophrenia to clinical depression to severe anxiety or bipolar disorder; we have learned to overcome shame and stigma to share our strengths.   It’s a powerful place to be.

You may never know who is affected by depression or suicidal thoughts because mental illness carries such stigma that many people suffer in silence.  Some people who want to help avoid asking about suicide, afraid that it will “put that thought into someone’s head.”  This is a myth; the truth is asking about suicide is often a relief for someone who is wrestling with these thoughts.

If you or someone you love is struggling, don’t let fear keep you silent.  Reach out.  We are here.

Marsha Lanier, MSW


SPIRIT Center is a healthy community, open at no charge to people facing challenges to their mental health.  Trained peer counselors offer a holistic approach, acceptance, support, education and advocacy.  We support people as they identify their path to recovery, and empower themselves to achieve their personal goals.  Together we save lives.


SPIRIT Center is a community coming together to mend itself.  SPIRIT Center is a free self-help center that welcomes drop-ins and offers an unparalleled opportunity to be part of the solution.  Our center is centrally located in Brunswick Basin on five serene acres in a large home complete with meeting rooms, kitchen facilities, handicap access, parking and bus service nearby. 

"I did not know where to fit in or function in society until SPIRIT offered me the chance.  SPIRIT's philosophy is one I can fit into and be part of comfortably.  Now I have true hope for the future for me and my family."  - SPIRIT participant

All services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL!

SPIRIT offers free Peer Counseling and Support Groups - see calendar for support groups and descriptions.
SPIRIT's Peer Counselors are graduates of the SPIRIT PC 12 week training and receive ongoing supervision.
People with similar issues meet with one another to help each other overcome life's difficulties.

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