Break the Stigma Awards

Break the Stigma Project understands that it takes more than a run across Minnesota to raise awareness of mental health issues and to bring light to those who may be suffering in silence due to the stigma that surrounds them. People often live without hope because they don’t believe that what they are experiencing can be treated.

That is why the Break the Stigma Awards, in honor of Dan Dragich, are being created. Each award will consist of a plaque and $100.00. Please have the nominations in by November 1st, 2014.

There are numerous individuals and organizations working hard to change the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and it is important that they be recognized for their efforts. As such, we are seeking nominations for our first “Breaking the Stigma” awards.

There are three categories:

1 – Individual,
2 – Group or Organization,
3 – Youth (Group or Individual School Age).

If you know of an individual or group that you would like to nominate, please do so by answering the following questions:

1. Name of the organization or individual and which category they fit into (Individual, Group or Youth).
2. Briefly describe why this individual or group should be nominated, including what efforts they are taking to break the stigma and what audience they are reaching.
3. Any social media links (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) or website addresses associated with your nominated entity.
4. Your contact information and the contact information of the nominated entity.

Send applications to:

Thank you to Paragon Billing for making this possible!

Who is Dan Dragich?

Dan Dragich was a son, a brother, a grandson, an uncle, a nephew and a friend. He was a musician of extraordinary talent. He had a stunningly beautiful voice. He played many instruments, but was most skilled with the guitar. He carried his writing notebook with him where ever he went, and it was filled with his music, his stories, and his doodles. He was born to be on stage as demonstrated by his banter with band members and audiences.

He was a risk taker who loved to push the envelope. He loved reading, animals, the outdoors, and fishing. Dan had an engaging personality, a beautiful smile and a contagious laugh. He was a compassionate and caring person, and he encouraged and touched many people. Dan also suffered from anxiety and depression. He thought he could cure himself. He refused medical treatment of his depression, including prescription medications. He chose instead to medicate himself with alcohol. Depression and alcohol consumed the last few years of his life, and every day was filled with overwhelming sadness for him.

Dan was 30 years, 4 months, 3 hours and 26 minutes old when he killed himself.