Robin Williams or Patch Adams? Watch a Brief Message from David Oaks to the Mad In America International Film Festival


You may watch a little eight-minute video message, below, that I sent this past Sunday, October 12, 2014, especially created to be shown during the gala dinner for the Mad In America International Film Festival. The festival brought together many movies that challenge the mental health industry. I wish I could have been there physically because this certainly was one of the main Mad Culture events of the season and many activists, film makers, and other creative folks were in attendance.

My amazing wife Debra repeated my sentences so that everyone could hear my disabled voice and not miss a precious word. My good friend David Zupan, who is making a documentary about me, videoed us on our backyard deck. In the background, you may see our guest cottage, which used to be my writing studio. This is where I fell from a ladder while reaching up in our loft for our cat, Bongo, and broke my neck back in December 2012.

In the video, I mention that many of us love Robin Williams, but I choose to follow the path of joy, life, and love created by Patch Adams, who Robin portrayed in the movie by that name. My friend Patch is a psychiatric survivor who, as a young person, was suicidal and decided to make a life change to embrace the world, flawed as it may be.
Here is the video message, followed by some links to info that I mention:

My blog about global warming and mental health

My blog where I, PsychoQuad, go to the movies, written because of the film festival:

You can read about the Mad In America International Film Festival and the many great movies:

Some other videos by David Zupan, including the building of Debra’s dream, an accessible path for me to our back garden:

By the way, Patch proudly does not get on the Internet (his employees do though). The great news is that Patch responds to every written message that he gets by old-fashion postal mail. You may just get a postcard back, but this pretty famous celebrity personally answers every letter. Thank him for being honorary chair for International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment! If that concept, first announced by Martin Luther King, is new to you just google it. Anyway, write to Patch here:

Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute
P.O. Box 307
Urbana, IL 61803 USA


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.


  1. David, Your video at the MIA film festival was so moving, so beautiful, so inspiring. thank you. After it played, I said something like, David Oaks is the bravest person I know. Thank you so for participating in the festival . . . everyone wished you could have been there in person, but was so grateful you sent us this video.


    Report comment

  2. Hi David and Everyone, I like to think that ROBIN decided to die was because I think that famous people suffer, and ROBIN WILLIAMS has an Important message to teach us. He gave his life for his family at a significant TIME. So that we would all look to what his message was and what is important to a HIM. If you would like to find out about HIM, watch “The BEST of MEN” on Netflix. Thank You Everyone who has contributed to this site because you’ve all helped me. WHETHER YOU WANTED TO OR NOT!!!! I’m part of GOD’s Family. This includes EVERYONE THAT BREATHES. THE EARTH AND ALL ARE ONE. To Whon Much Is Given Much Is Expected. SAVE HUMANITY AND SAVE THE PLANET. YOU CANNOT HEAL WITH POISON IN THE WELL!!! Thanks David for such an awesome VIDEO. Thanks DEBRA for helping DAVID. I love the joke about voices David. When I would get evaluated, they would say, “ARE YOU HEARING VOICES?”,
    Yes! “WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?” They’re saying, Are You Hearing Voices? And This One, ” WITCH DOCTOR ARE YOU HERE TO SEE?” Yes, “WITCH DOCTOR ARE YOU HERE TO SEE? Yes. “NO, IM ASKING YOU WITCH DOCTOR YOURE HERE TO SEE? Then, I Would Say, YES, IM HERE TO SEE THE WITCH DOCTOR!!!! Debra, If Everyone Was As Nice As You And Your Husband, I would be cleaning house and WE WOULDN’T NEED TO BE MAD IN AMERICA. I read a great article about ROBIN in the “TV GUIDE” Once In The 70’s, “And I Said, It Was Good.” If Everyone Would Repeat What They Heard, Then Maybe We Would Know WHO WAS LISTENING?

    Report comment

  3. Great point about Robin Williams, David. If Robin had reached out to his friend Patch Adams. Maybe if he’d taken a working clown trip to South America or eastern Europe with the Patch Adams clown troupe, I think that sort of thing could cheer anybody up. If he had done so, maybe, just maybe, he’d still be with us today. Then again, your famous celebrity would have to give a little thought to some of us less famous celebrities for that to occur, wouldn’t he? Anyway, it’s a thought.

    Loved to see you had a video presence at the MIA film fest, too. Very touching. If I had a message for all those global warming skeptics out there, I guess it would be help us save the planet. Keep up the good activism, man. The world needs more people like you.

    Report comment

  4. David and Debra,

    You’ve reached Perth, Australia, on a sunny morning. Thank you so much for such a beautiful and moving film and messages. You’ve really lifted my day and I feel inspired with a capital I… and the rest of the letters. I will try and spread your message. My love and gratitude, David

    Report comment