WHO ARE WE?

We are a Non-profit organization focusing on the future leaders of America. Our Children, teens, and young adults. Aiding in breaking the stigma that surrounds mental illness and focusing on suicide prevention and awareness. 

OUR MISSION

is to be the voice for those who feel that they don't have one. Children, teens, and young adults living with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, suicidal ideations, and victims of child abuse.

H.O.P.E. -Hold on,Pain Ends

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Heroes don't always wear capes. You can be a HERO and make a huge difference in someone's life.

Fundraisers, activities, events, and more!

Warning signs aren't always easy to see but there are common behaviors when someone is contemplating suicide.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE

1-800-273-8255

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ABOUT US

 

Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refer to a wide range of mental health conditions - disorders that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addictive behaviors. 

In 2018, words like mental illness, depression, and suicide were unfamiliar to me but became very real when my son Zachary Ryan Birkholz took his own life at only 14 years old. 

Up to that point in my life, I hadn't heard these topics talked about very often so I had to take a good look at what went wrong and what I found, is that suicide, is often a result of an untreated mental illness and it is preventable. 

I also found that mental illness is a taboo topic amongst people and it is rarely talked about, it has a stigma that makes people ashamed of reaching out for fear of being looked at as "crazy" or "unfit" - as a society, we have given mental illness a negative reputation of weakness and something that you should keep to yourself. 

I quickly learned that our nation lacks mental health resources for the youth and it is time that we break the stigma and drive change for the youth in our community to encourage them to break the stigma and stay alive- Thus the birth of Marshmallow's HOPE.

 

Marshmallow's HOPE is a personal mission and Zachary's memory is our driving force! He should still be here, however, we believe that by us sharing our family's tragic story, we can help other Zachary's in the world who may be suffering in silence know that it's okay to not be okay, and that they matter!  We are here to support the youth in our communities as well as other suicide survivor families.  

 

It takes a village to fight this fight, but my promise to you and to my son, is that I won't stop fighting for these kids to stay alive. I won't stop fighting for the many mother's who are missing their children. I won't stop fighting for the importance of mental health and suicide prevention.  Event if our story helps save one more life, I will continue to help aid those who need it. 

Through Marshmallow's HOPE, I will be the voice of the many Zachary's in the world. 

-Laura Kane

Founder and Executive Director