NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. — While you can't compare traumas, some men have difficulty processing or even voicing theirs; that is why the Face It Foundation exists.
"As a guy, I could do everything on my own. And it turns out, boy, I way off based on that one," said Mark Meier, one of the founders of the Face It Foundation. "People say men won't talk. Men will talk; they just have to have a place where they feel like they can."
As a nonprofit, the Face It Foundation provides free support and resources to men living with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
"We base everything on peer support. So a guy will come to Face It and be in a group with eight, nine, 10 other men who understand almost exactly what he is going through," explained Bill Dehkes, who also runs the nonprofit.
Both can relate to those they serve. Meier survived a suicide attempt in 2002. "I had three sleeping children, and depression and anxiety had overwhelmed me. And I hadn't asked for help. Nobody really knew about my struggles."
Bill also fought with depression and anxiety. "We've been in this place these guys are in, and we want to give back. We want to help them out of it, out of that dark place they're in," said Dehkes.
The Face It Foundation has 23 support groups and offers free group therapy sessions. "We do retreats, we do classes, other social activities. If a person is struggling with depression, they a lot of times isolate themselves, they'll not participate in activities. We push guys to get involved more. Even something as simple as going to a baseball game with a bunch of other men," said Dehkes. Meier added, "What we've really done is formalize the friendship business."
But more importantly, the Face it Foundation is providing hope. "There's a lot people that lose their lives by suicide each day, a lot of men in this country. And gosh, if we can save one more each day, it's a victory," said Dehkes.
Right now, the Face it Foundation serves more than two hundred men in support groups.
It's a casual environment and absolutely free. Check out the Face it Foundation's website to connect with Mark or Bill.