Did you know, suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined? After cancer and heart disease, suicide accounts for more years of life lost than any other cause of death. While other leading causes of death have decreased or remained steady in recent years, U.S. suicide rates have INCREASED over the past three decades, with a notable rise in suicides among baby boomers and women. 44,965 people died by suicide in 2016 making suicide the 10th leading cause of death in America, and the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds.
U.S. suicide rates are the highest among white, middle-aged men, but suicide knows no boundaries. Suicide deaths occur across all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, the majority of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental illness. Mental health conditions are common and treatable, but the associated stigma prevents many people from getting the help they need. We need to erase the stigma if we want to save lives and it begins by breaking the silence.
More than 90% of people who take their own lives have an underlying mental health disorder.
– National Institute of Mental Health
Our Mother, Our MOM
Our mother, Gail Boledovich, was an incredible woman. There was no one else like her on the planet, and no one we’d rather have as a mom. She was beautiful inside and out with a smile that could light up a room. She was vibrant, young at heart, and so much fun to be around. She was extremely creative and multi-talented, but her number one gift was being a mother. Unfortunately, our mother was no match for mental illness. Untreated schizophrenia stole her zest for life and replaced it with debilitating fear and desperation. It caused her to lose her job, her home, and place in society. On May 1, 2005, just days before her 49th birthday, we lost our mother to suicide. We were shocked, devastated, and every emotion under the sun. We didn’t know how we’d survive her tragic death, but we knew we needed to move forward and find a way to help others. In 2006, we formed the nonprofit organization Mind Over Matter, lovingly referred to as MOM, and started the annual MOM Race in our hometown of Royal Oak. It’s the ultimate tribute to our mom and all those lost to suicide or coping with mental illness.
You are not alone. When all else fails, hope prevails.
Paul, Lisa, Trisha & Julie
The MOM mission is simple:
To erase the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide, provide hope, and raise funding for life-saving programs. To date, the MOM Race has brought thousands of people together and raised $300,000 for local brain research, suicide prevention programming, and crisis intervention services.
May is national mental health awareness month. Please support the MOM Race and help us get the word out that mental health conditions are common, treatable, and nothing to be ashamed of. Help us give hope to all those who are suffering in silence, including the hundreds of survivors of suicide who attend the MOM Race each year. Help us show the world that our loved ones are so much more than the manner in which they died. We might not be able to prevent every tragedy, but we can educate ourselves and change the way we see mental illness and suicide. That’s Mind Over Matter!
Mind Over Matter is a nonprofit organization supported by gifts and donations and is registered under IRS 501(c)(3).