September 20, 2023


In this episode of NAMI’s podcast, NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr. speaks with Zak Williams (PYM) and Kendall Toole (Pelaton) in honor of suicide prevention and awareness month. Having each lost a loved one to suicide, Zak and Kendall explain how they now use their stories to help others — and how they maintain their own mental health hygiene along the way.

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We hope this podcast encourages you, inspires you, helps you and brings you further into the collective to know: you are not alone.

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Episode Audio:



Featured Guests:

Zak Williams

Zak Williams is a passionate global mental health advocate, entrepreneur, father, professional speaker, and son of beloved actor and comedian, Robin Williams. He focuses his time, expertise, and resources on sharing his personal journey from pain to purpose, supporting initiatives and campaigns seeking to remove the stigma of discussions aligned with mental health challenges, addressing any discrimination associated and creating access to quality care for all in need.

Zak is CEO and co-founder of anxiety relief neurotransmitter nutrition company PYM and is an investor in technology and consumer packaged goods companies. Formerly, he was COO of the recommendation platform Crossing Minds, the Director of Business Development for media company Condé Nast, and the marketing lead for gaming and media platform N3TWORK.

Zak is a U.S. trustee of United for Global Mental Health and board member of mental health awareness and advocacy non-profit, Bring Change 2 Mind, founded by Glenn Close. He is an advisor for Inseparable, a national organization innovating pragmatic mental health policy and a board member for Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, where he focuses on guiding the organizations’ strategy and business development initiatives.

In 2020, Zak was proud to be key note speaker at a reception at the United Nations General Assembly where he announced the launch the #SpeakYourMind campaign, a global mental health movement intended to amplify the needs of underserved communities, too often unseen and unheard.

In 2021 Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry featured aspects of Zak’s life journey including the transformative experiences of loss, grief, recovery, and living with anxiety along with those of others including Lady Gaga, Langston Galloway, Glenn Close and Prince Harry in a ground breaking documentary series on Apple TV+ entitled, “The Me You Can’t See”.

In 2022, Zak and Congressman Seth Moulton, co-chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s Future of Defense Task Force authored, “How 988 Will Transform America’s Approach to Mental Health” for Time Magazine. Currently, Zak is the co-executive producer with Lemonada Media of the podcast series, “Call For Help”, examining the promise and perils of the new 988 Hotline. The Office of the Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and SAMHSA just engaged Zak to be featured in multi-platform PSA’s launching the 988 initiative nationwide.

Zak earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Linguistics from New York University.


Kendall Toole

A Peloton fitness instructor and NAMI ambassador, Kendall Toole is a lightning rod of energy who uses her gifts to teach, build community, and advocate for mental and physical health.Kendall has a background in performance and fitness, having spent time as a gymnast, dancer, boxer and actress. After graduating from USC film school, Kendall embarked on a career in content production at a social media company, she soon realized that culture was not the right fit and embraced boxing as an outlet. This led her to her role at Peloton, which has catapulted her into pop culture stardom.


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About the Host:

Daniel H. Gillison, Jr.

Follow on Twitter: @DanGillison

Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. is the chief executive officer of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Prior to his work at NAMI, he served as executive director of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) in addition to several other leadership roles at various large corporations such as Xerox, Nextel, and Sprint. He is passionate about making inclusive, culturally competent mental health resources available to all people, spending time with his family, and of course playing tennis.

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NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).