$5 x 200 = hope for a lot of people

Dear Readers,

 
As some of you may know, I created Beyond Blue Foundation last year, a registered 501c3 public charity (all contributions are tax deductible), that provides support to persons with chronic mood disorders. In the 10 years I’ve spent writing and researching mental health issues, I have received thousands of emails and letters from readers who have already tried medication and alternative therapies, but still feel hopeless. They wake up each day wanting to die. 
 
For six years I lived that way. Only in the last four months have I woken up without those thoughts, and my passion for creating a dynamic, supportive community has been an important component in my healing. So I am asking for your financial help, so that I can help as many people as I can. 
 
I’ve created a support group on Facebook that now has over 3000 people, and I launched an online community, ProjectBeyondBlue.com, last December that already has over 1600 members and over 40 small groups on every kind of topic you can imagine: nutrition & mood, faith & depression, creativity, anxiety, boundaries & codependency, addiction, etc. 
 
I did all this on the cheap, because Eric and I invested our own money. In order to make the site more user-friendly, I am trying to raise $1500. 
 
I have received financial support from the community I’m creating, but I need more.
 
Which is why I am writing to you.
 
I figure that if 200 people give $5, then I would 2/3 of the way there! If you know of anyone affected by chronic depression or suicide, please forward the information to them.
 
Maybe these statistics will tell you why I feel so passionate about this:
 
*One person dies from suicide every 40 seconds.
*Every year, over 800,000 people die from suicide, exceeding the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.
*For each adult who died of suicide in 2012, there were over 20 others who made suicide attempts.
 
Thanks for reading this and considering it!
 
Donations can be made by paypal and credit cards directly on the site: www.projectbeyondblue.com.
 
Peace,
Therese
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35 thoughts on “$5 x 200 = hope for a lot of people

  1. Therese,

    First let me say that I am very happy to hear you no longer struggle with those death thoughts. I used to pray for you often because I could only imagine how terrible that was.

    Second, I enjoy some of what you have to say. I think you are knowledgeable and a great resource of information. I would like to continue receiving your emails, but I do not want to be solicited for money when it comes to this group. My mental health was somewhat compromised by being a member of this group. All the knit picking and constant complaints and turmoil about posts, ect. Until you change your guidelines about allowing people to express their suicidal thoughts — you of all people should know how that feels — you will never get a penny from me. It is really uncalled for all the rules you have for this group and how people must walk on eggshells and not be able to communicate honestly what they are feeling. I have found other groups that do not adhere to such a rigid and strict policy. I am interested in your other posts and writings….when it comes to this group and asking for money, it is a sore spot. Sorry to say.

    Thank you and best of luck to you. Again, very happy to hear that you are feeling a bit better.

    -Stephen

  2. Stephen, you can have your beliefs. But my job is to raise money for a community that I run to the best of knowledge and skills. If you don’t want to be solicited for money here then I suggest you no longer subscribe to my writing, because this advocacy work is very much a part of who I am. I’m sorry you don’t like how I decide to run a community. I do it with great thought and with consideration of persons who have built communities of over 300,000. There is nothing careless about it. But I would appreciate if you would stop leaving such nasty comments on my boards. I cannot please everyone. I can’t please you. So please find another author to read.

    1. Well, this was my point. Any authentic feelings are seen as “nasty.” I was expressing how I felt about being in the group. I also was not asking you to make me happy. I was saying that being an advocate of people with mental illness, you cannot say you understand and want to help people who are suicidal, write in your email the statistics of how many people kill themselves and then say “Hey come join my group where you can’t talk about any of this!” :) :) :) Doesn’t sound very thoughtful to me and reasonable to me.

      When I was in the group it seemed that you had good intentions but would always be more upset that an esteemed colleague or mentor decided to leave the group over a post rather than the feelings of the people who posted the post. I think (just my opinion from what I witnessed) that you still really want to be on Oprah. If this is truly who you are and a part of you, then find people like you and let them have their voice and forget about Oprah aka ( applause and acclaim) because people are dying and living miserable lives as you are well aware of. Let people speak. You are not the authority of the voice of the people. Lastly, if you cannot handle negative feedback and/or constructive criticism from people who were actually in the group and know what went on — I’d find another cause to devote yourself to because there are other people out there that are a hell of a lot worse than me that will say things I would never say. So……Godspeed.

      So as you requested I will delete myself from your mailings and never bother you again.

    2. Oh, one last thing. 300,000 people means nothing. Quality, not quantity. That number does not impress me. I’d rather see a group of 50 people actually be able to speak and find healing and hope.

      1. Stephen,
        With all due respect, I believe that Therese provides a service that it is not found elsewhere. My experience in the group was not as I would have wanted, but it is more important to give those who suffer a chance to get relief by the sense of community that the group provides. As I have learned, It is the group who decides how it will proceed and it will be done by the group’s collective conscious. My needs were not met by the group, but I have referred many a friend who get relief there and will continue to do so.
        Like we say in recovery, if you dont like a meeting, go find another one or create one of your own.
        Warmly
        Jim

      2. Jim, I understand your point and that is why I left the group and I disagree with you. I have found other alternatives where people understand suicide and depression are often inseparable and the moment you silence people from talking about their demons, is the moment you cease to be a service or a help to them. You have a responsibility when you start a group to do it a service, not a disservice. Therese often expressed her struggle with death thoughts and suicide, and often posted articles she wrote where she explicitly spoke of times in her life where she was suicidal or attempted suicide, yet others were not allowed to say that they were feeling suicidal. Very hypocritical and strange to me. As if rules didn’t apply to certain people. Other people in the group were just plain troublemakers who wanted to complain about everything just for the sake of complaining and caused issues for the rest of the group and they were often the ones catered to. So I left. And all I was saying is that I don’t want to be asked for money as I do not see how this group helps anyone, but it def did not help me. In fact, it caused my anxiety to skyrocket and my blood pressure to increase. My doctor told me that whatever I was doing, I should stop. So I did. I have prayed for Therese because I have compassion for suffering people, BUT I do not condone, support or agree with this project in any shape or form. If someone is lonely and needs people to talk to — yes, the group is great for that . But that is as far as it goes in my opinion. If you chose to stay, that is up to you. If other people have been helped in the group, I say GREAT. I don’t see this group being of mass benefit though. I REALLY hope to be proved wrong because in the end this is not about anything other than people getting the help they need and getting better and being able to have a real, authentic and unbridled voice. The end. Period. I have no agenda but to see people treated fairy and right and with consideration. I have not seen that thus far, so I don’t want to be asked for money to support such a cause.

      3. Stephen,

        I don’t think anyone likes being solicited for money- especially in this time right now of such economic turmoil. But, like I was always taught, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. What Therese is doing is different from anything she has done before. Put yourself in her shoes for a moment, you know that roughly 800,000 people a year are passing away due to suicide. You know, that many may have had no resource, some may have had medication problems, to some had no sense of community. Women suffer from depression and low self-esteem more than men. But men have higher rates because they are less likely to seek help. And then of course, there are the ones who don’t have a mood disorder, who don’t see the struggles as a big deal, and that’s awareness comes in.

        I hate sales calls, I get them on my cell phone now. But when its organizations, and as someone who was/is a fundraiser, I’ve had to make the calls. I’ve been on both ends. Just like I’m on both ends of depression, I have it and I know loved ones who have ended their life from it. Right around Christmas I got a call, by mistake, from another county’s fire department for $250 to help with the cost that is needed. I don’t have the means to do that, but I agreed, and sent in the money. Why? Because what happens when I need to dial 911? Its those people who are going to come and help me, so why not support them.

        I don’t know your relationship with Therese, but based on the comments, it doesn’t look like a good. “300,000 people means nothing. Quality, not quantity. That number does not impress me”. You’re right, it is about quality. It is about quality to provide a foundation for people who have no one else. Its never been about the numbers, but this community, the online community, grows every day. So, yes the number is going to mean something. It would mean something if were 300,000 people, 50 people as you say, or just one. Because one person suffering, or one person having death thoughts all alone, is one too many.

        So with all due respect, as I see your point, its called fundraising. Right now, no one is charged anything- everything is at your fingertips for free. But there are some bloggers, and blog sites that charge. There are some membership communities like PBB that charge a monthly/yearly fee to pay for these expenses. Therese doesn’t want that. Because she knows that not everyone would have access. But for those who can send $1, 4 quarters that they find in their couch cushions, or empty out on their night stand after a long day, or $5- imagine what could be done. Imagine how many people could be affected. This is the heart of fundraising, and if it bothers you, I’m sorry, but every non-profit (meaning the people that work there, don’t make money, or if they do, its not enough to live on) has to start out like this.

        You are not obligated to give anything, but jeez, don’t put someone down who didn’t want to ask in the first place. But one who just wants a place where people can come together, with all their quirks, and even difference of opinions, and understand what its like to walk in the shadow of a mood disorder.

        And for me, I think that’s worth more than $5, and I think its a special mission you can’t put a price tag on.

        Thank you,
        Becky

      4. You missed the point I was trying to make completely Becky. I am not going to keep going over. I was in the group. I stated my opinion, my experience and how I felt about the group. I also complimented Therese on her writing and blog — which I think is her strong point. Not running a group. Didn’t want to ask for in the first place??? This is not about sales calls or telemarketing. I have no idea what you are talking about. I am no longer commenting on this site as Therese requested that I not and I really don’t want to keep explaining something only to have responses that really don’t pertain to the point I was making. If you have a different experience, then great. I honor that as your experience and I will also state my own experience.And I know I am not the only one who feels this way. When I was in the group — DAILY people would private message me to convey how irritated and annoyed they were at things going on in the group and how Therese just allowed it to go on without sticking up for the underdog. I got tired of hearing it. Tired of seeing it. I got tired of the drama and complaints and the non-stop restrictions over every person who was offended by the minute….. I got tired of trying to reason with Therese. I don’t want to give money to something like that. That is my choice. Therese is not a telemarketer. Your charitable donations to the fire department are irrelevant. What you do with your money is your choice. Choosing a fundraising career is not the topic of the post I wrote. All of this only proves my point of why I left the group.

        And yes, I am annoyed and bothered and saddened by how Therese has chosen to run this group as I don’t see it as fair or effective. That is my opinion. It seems that in your perspective, we all have to sing each others praises and throw money at each other in order to have a good relationship with someone. I can disagree and even be annoyed with someone and still find the good in them and what they are attempting to do. My comments included praise and prayers as well as confrontation, disgust and disappointment. That is what you call balanced. I don’t sugar coat and I don’t kiss anyone’s behind, but I will give credit where it’s due. Therese is an excellent writer and has written many articles that I have found to be amazingly helpful. Obviously I cannot disagree with her and feel hurt at the way she handled situations, including mine. I think people need to get a grip and act like adults instead of just wanting constant praise, affirmation, attention and applause. That is not real and that is not life and being a human, you will make mistakes. Own them and fix them and move on. That’s all I am going to say. Best to all….

  3. Therese, I would be happy to contribute but am reluctant to utilize paypal or a credit card online. I hope this isn’t an imposition but if you’ll give me a P.O. Box or address to send it to, I’ll make a contribution. Best to you and prayers for this worthy effort! Frank Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:22:50 +0000 To: frankhulse@hotmail.com

      1. Thanks Therese because I could not get the link you sent me to a place I could send my donation. & Re Stephens’ obvious need to vent and vent, I have never seen a post where people were discouraged from posting they were experiencing suicidal posts – so I am completely clueless as to what his problem is. However, you are doing a good thing. If he does not agree, well walk away. Jeez, all this over a request for a $5.00 donation? This group has helped me more than even my therapy – and my therapist charges $225 per session. People never fail to astound me with their “attitudes”. I am sending you a check to the P.O. Box. Martie

  4. Hi Therese,I have always admired you and love your work.Don’t let negative people get you down.I think its great that you are asking for help.I just donated $10.00.You are awesome and give a lot of hope!Never give up as you keep me going.Many times you make my day.Eileen

  5. Hi Therese, I will be happy to write a check to BBF. Actually I feel quite honored to be a part of such a wonderful group—–Beyond Blue has given me my first outlet to share what is positive about me and to do it by writing with others who have “Resistant Depression” Personally I have to admire your ability to continue on your mission. So many suffer in silence and when a few want to disrupt the process I think it’s very selfish and shallow. Please “press on” and I thank you so much for your passion and for sharing it.——–Love ya, Chris

  6. Therese;

    From the day I found your “Pocket Therapist” on Amazon, and felt a connection between your first name and my middle name, and our love for St. Therese, I fell in love with everything you do for all of the humans that so need you. I am not a life-long sufferer of depression, but only recently have I had to live with most of what you have been dealing with your whole life. Your writings, thoughts, reflections, prayer, and, most of all, your wit and humor, have changed my life (and at 55, that is no small task). I do not say that lightly. If I can help you help just one person, as you have helped so many, many more, with a monetary donation, it is the very least I can do. You are a blessing in this world, Therese. If you ever feel like you are not, let me know…I will remind you.

    Maureen

    1. I love this post Maureen. Therese has got me through some pretty dark times. My 20 bucks thrown in the hat is a mere token gesture compared to how I feel about her foundation. I support what she’s doing 100% and there is NO ONE out there doing the same. We have many amazing organisations here in Australia but none of them are as good as Therese. I’ve followed her for a fair while now. She has stuck with me despite my vehement anti-catholic sentiment. So how’s that?! I’m anti-Mother Teresa and Pro-Therese Borchard. Go figure! Be well :)

      1. Thank you, Sam, for reading my post! It is so important to me that people know what a difference they make in my life. Too often we give thanks and appreciate amazing people too late – after they are gone. No matter what you believe about the after-life (if at all), the ONLY reason we have each other, is to make a difference. Above all else, that is what Therese is doing. Helping just one person have just one better day is HUGE.

      2. Maureen so true! If Therese helps one person along the way and has to herd out ten poo-pooers, she (and all of us) are making a difference. T, I like think of my inner bitch as the ‘voice where people won’t die wondering what you said’. Quite pertinent on International Women’s Day.

  7. Thank you. Just donated. (small amount, but hopefully every bit helps) I’m not an active member of your group, but your writing and blog posts have helped my family immensely. It is not easy to find good resources to support a family member dealing with depression, and your work has been a godsend. I’m sure it is not easy to ask for money – but thank you for giving us the opportunity to contribute.

  8. Therese,

    Nearly every one of your articles is worth more to me than a session with a therapist. The benefit I derive from reading, sifting, applying and integrating your words and external references is invaluable. I’m pleased to contribute to the foundation and hope you continue the amazing work you’re doing – so much for so many with so little financial backing, but such integrity, compassion, pure intentions, passion, and commitment.

    Peace,
    John

      1. Therese, did I miss something here? We still have a group for “sneezing”. I was not aware of any restrictions and if there are, it was probably for good reason. When You are a part of such a large group of people, there are always going to be the people who have “compaints” – it is better just to ignore those posts. We are each in our own place and trying to support and help each other – thanks to your amazing courage in coming out to the entire world about your own struggle. All I know is that this group has become my “life line” to recovery. If I had never read your book (which started this for me) I don’t know where I would be today. Maybe I would be one of the so sad “statistics”. So you go girl! Keep on keepin’ on – as Bob Dylan said. For yourself and for all of us. We are so fortunate to have someone like you in our corner and the website and Facebook page. I am sending you a thousand blessings!!

        1. Hi, Marti!

          Thank you for your comment, I’m sure Therese will follow up. I am not anyone special, just one of the admins for the new site, and someone, like you, who has been impacted by all the work Therese has put into her writings and outreach.

          There is still a “sneezing” section on Project Beyond Blue, and that can be discussed on the Facebook page, as well. We just have to make sure people are safe, and so no suicidal posts, thats all. But, “sneezing” is still a group.

          And thank you for agreeing to donate. I spoke from my heart in commenting, just like you, and not everyone can afford $5, which I understand, and not everyone may want to. But whatever one can do for someone like Therese is very much appreciated. Its a big undertaking and she’s taking it on, constantly working. And that’s why I admire her. Glad to see you do, as well.

          Best,
          Becky

  9. Oh you don’t know how happy you have made me. I have suffered from major depression my entire life. I was diagnosed with a mood disorder and was given anti-depressants and psychological therapy on and off since I was 16. I am now 42, entering a period in my life where my depression has turned to Treatment Resistant Depression and I am receiving Electroconvulsive Therapy. For the longest time my dream has been to write about the abuse and bullying I suffered as a child and the chronic depression my family and I did not know how to deal with. I would like to write for your blog someday.

  10. I just read your article ” A Little Confrontation is Good for You” and I applaud your responses to the posts on your website about donating. I just joined, and am quite willing to donate to support a group that is helpful to me, that lifts me up instead of pulling me down, and offers ideas for coping with this reality. Your articles on Everyday Health and your books are daily reading for me. Thank you!

  11. Hi Therese, I’m a long time follower of your writing. I’m not one to join groups but, I do believe in supporting an author who helps me with a Christian base and a quirky sense of humor. Thank you Therese. Peggy

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