Attention males!

Defeat the Stigma Project is looking for men (all races/ethnicities, ages, and sexual orientations) that are willing to share their own stories of mental illness and journey to recovery.

If you would like to share your personal story, and inspire others to Defeat the Stigma associated with mental illnesses, please send us an email at

and we will share more information with you.

DSP and Dr. Andrea Zuellig from Melrose Center will be working on this project for the next three to four months.

Bill Watts to Run the Colorado Trail for Mental Health

In the winter of 2001, Bill Watts stepped on the scale at nearly 200 pounds, and had difficulty walking up the four flights of stairs at his job. Plagued with stress, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, he set his sights for better health and living. Bill began running races from 5k’s on the road, to ultramarathon trail races. Trying to fill the void of running books for “average” runners, he authored “Running for the Average Joe,” a book that can help anyone achieve health and fitness at any age. Find out how you can take that first step and enjoy a lifetime of healthy living!

Bill will be running the entire Colorado Trail starting in July 2017 for mental health awareness.
Follow his epic journey at:


Advocacy and creating significant change takes time, passionate volunteers and financial resources. We are lucky to have some of the best volunteers from across the US who are selflessly at work to end the stigma that surrounds mental illness, depression and suicide.

Support our critical work and help give our volunteers valuable tools by donating here.

Since our beginning in 2014, generous, individual donors remain our primary source of funding. We have an incredibly diverse and wide-spread team of Defeat the Stigma Project Staff, volunteers and advocates; ALL of them donate their time and pay all their own race and entry fees.

Our goal is to end the stigma once and for all.

We need your help and support as we continue to teach people that depression and mental illness are treatable.

Your donation will ultimately help to inspire courage and strength in someone, perhaps a friend or family member, who wants to seek treatment or start an important conversation about their struggles and challenges.
This support, inspiration and conversation are critically important, because we know that 80% – 90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TAPS study)

What are we up against? Mental health and mental illness affect ALL of us. Every single one of us.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)

Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year.

There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)

We have a lot of important and exciting work in front of us. And we need your help.

Your donation works directly at the grassroots level by allowing us to continue the fight against stigma. Here’s what we’re doing:
• Our annual “Runs Across States” in order to spread the message that we are not alone. No one is alone. We will be running across Illinois in May 2017, currently planning on Idaho in the early fall of 2017 as well. We ran across Minnesota in 2015 and Wisconsin in 2016. Our goal is to cover all US states.
• Our podcast that reaches a diverse population worldwide with a variety of guests; all who support our mission and have their own stories to tell. Please find our podcast show at iTunes, Google Play & Soundcloud under “Defeat the Stigma Project.”
• Speaking at schools and public events.
• Creating marketing merchandise and information materials to promote awareness and help support the Defeat the Stigma Project Running Team. This nationwide team participates in races and events across the country in an effort to spread awareness.

Our goal is to end the stigma.

We need your help.

Thank You!

Defeat the Stigma/Beth Walter’s Scholarship Fundraiser on Sunday, November 27

We will be hosting the Defeat the Stigma/Beth Walter’s Scholarship Fundraiser on Sunday, November 27, from 1-5pm, at Shipyard’s Castaways, 1135 Cty Rd DB, Mosinee WI 54455. 715-342-9273

The Allen Brothers and a couple of surprise musicians that are stopping in to play some sets will all provide live music. All fees for the music will be paid for by Shipyard’s Castaways, and there will not be a cover charge.

Shipyard’s Castaways will provide the majority of the food, and volunteers will bring food to set up a buffet style. The food will be mostly appetizers and finger style food, as the timeframe is after lunch and before dinner. A donation jar will be set on the buffet table, and all proceeds will go towards the scholarships.

We will have 50/50 raffles and gift items to raffle off. There will be random donation jars for those who wish to privately donate.

We are working with two different fundraising organizations right now to decide on how best to elect the scholarship winners. I will get you that information ASAP.

We consider ourselves both a team and family at Shipyard’s Castaways. Beth Walters was a dear friend of mine, and the mother of one of our teams’ family, which means we were all affected by the battle Beth fought. My husband and Beth’s husband, Gary, have been friends since high school. Our daughters and Beth and Gary’s daughters have been friends since grade school. Losing Beth was difficult for my entire family. The guilt and questions that followed, and often still rear their ugly heads, make her passing always present and closure difficult. It is easy to get selfish and think of one’s own loss, but my sister-in-law made me aware of the run across Wisconsin for Defeat the Stigma. I immediately submitted Beth’s name to be honored, and had the pleasure of watching her daughter, Olivia, take part in that run. I heard incredible stories of people’s experiences and realized that, for everyone, the answers are few, the questions many, and yet these brave people dedicate so much time and energy to changing that ratio and the negativity clouding mental illness. We want to do our part, as well.