Milan Matic Foundation

The Milan Matic Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to understanding the science of mood disorders. Our mission is to improve awareness, remove stigma, and advocate scientific research.

Our Goals

  1. We will continuously work on Milan's Continuity Plan and see it passed. Schools, parents, and communities, need to become partners in advocating for young people, and demand positive changes on the policy making level.
  2. We are working on developing Group Information Sharing System (GISS). The idea is to provide positive environment in which young people affected can share their struggles. This could provide extra support through learning and leaning on eachother.
  3. In our dedication to understanding the science of mood disorders we are supporting research. Proceeds from our annual "Walk For Hope" are going to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (Department of Children's Mental Health and Research).

Research is advancing in this area of mental health. The primary goal is to find better ways to shorten the episodes associated with mood disorders, prevent relapse, and decrease the harmful consequences of these episodes.

Milan's Continuity Plan

With this fast and ever changing world, childhood has become something much different than it once was. With an overload of information streaming at them and less time to play, an increasing number of children are affected by mental illness. We can't slow down the changing world, but we can work to understand how these changes affect our children. If we do not provide a continuity plan that attempts to help them, the number of our children affected can only increase

If you are born with thought process that is different than what we call "normal," living in a world that doesn't understand you and offers inadequate support becomes very difficult. We must work to not only understand their thought process, but also to work with the community at large to reduce the stigma attached to young people suffering from mental illness.

Before I lay out Milan's Continuity Plan I want to share a few thoughts from my son Milan's journal.

"I finally got a book to write my thoughts in. My mind always goes to many strange places and I think about so many things, but I can't think of anyone to tell these thoughts to. So, I'll write them here. This way they will be tangible, so maybe someone will read this one day and be able to listen to my thoughts, because I won't talk now. I sometimes feel that someone is trying to talk to me, and I'm pretty sure I know who it is. My shadow. That's what I think of when I think of him. He is not evil, but he is not real either, and writing about him makes him less real. And that is good."

We all have to come together so we can better understand mental illness. Milan was hospitalized twice, and each time he felt worse once he came home. He said this was for various reasons. First, the transition from a very routine oriented environment to school was rough. This was not helped by the fact that returning from a long absence meant that he had to complete large amounts of make-up work. On top of this, he mentioned that he already felt he had poor social skills that were now made worse by the fact that he had to answer the question of where he had been. He said he was either forced to tell the truth, which was uncomfortable, or lie, which didn't feel great either, but was much better than the embarrassment that came from telling the truth. Consequently, the very stress that put you there in the first place is back and has increased 10 fold. This the cycle of anxiety, guilt and shame begins again.

That is exactly what happens to many kids today, and it is taking a huge toll on society. We are spending billions of dollars on mental health care and it isn't working because we don't always address the social stigma attached to mental illness, and we don't properly address the problem of mental illness. These kids are beautiful and smart, and instead of becoming successful productive people, they are in and out of hospitals, living on the streets, and saddest of all, losing their lives. We have to face the possibility that finding cure maybe decades away, and by than millions more children and families will be affected.

We need to spread the message that these kids are born this way, and the best thing for them is a world that accepts, embraces, and understand them. Milan was extremely gifted, and if he were able to share his thoughts and fears with others, he probably would never have sunk as low as he did. Today as I read through Milan's journals or school poems, I see just how early he realized that his way of thinking was not like other kids'. If he could have talked about his "shadow" to someone who would have understood his struggles, then maybe he could have been saved.

Depression might not take hold of so many children so strongly if early in life we teach them about mental illness, and provide positive coping skills. We all know that depression does not happen overnight; it gradually builds until the world you are living in is so far away from the reality of others. Talking about it with people whom you trust, helps create the bridge between these two worlds. If we don't create this bridge by building trust and understanding, the ability to hold on to hope and make improvements will slowly diminish, and many children will simply sink into a deep depression.

Milan didn't want to die. He tried so hard to conform and be "normal," but without the support of the world he lived in, it was impossible. He never liked using drugs, but sometimes he used them to numb the pain. Similarly, he didn't like drinking, but sometimes he would drink to numb the pain. He hated himself for this, and that only added to his anguish. He tried medicine and therapy, but nothing seemed to work. He listened to what the doctors said, yet despite this Milan lost his life at the age of 19.

I believe, as Milan did, that if we incorporate the Continuity Plan into our everyday lives, kids affected by mental illness will enjoy a better quality life, the stigma associated to mental illness will begin to disappear, and instead of falling into the darkness of depression, our children will have a good shot at becoming productive stable members of society.

Milan's Continuity plan would allow children to continue their lives through these ups and downs, and would provide an environment were they could be understood. Additionally, children would be able to continue with schooling while in the treatment clinics, (often for a long periods of time) and continue treatment once they are back in school. There is a lot of work to be done, but in the long run it can eliminate stigma and the expense of long term care.

Treatment Centers

  1. Once the child is admitted for extreme emotional distress, a few days therapy may be necessary.
  2. Medication should be used carefully, and only when all other options have been exhaustad. The reason I say this is not because I don't believe in medicine, but because I have seen first hand what it can do to some children. Since there is so much that we don't know about how human mind works, medicating children to soon is a dangerous guessing game. I do believe that one-day research will come up with better medication, but until than we must tread carefully.
  3. Once the child is stabilized on line classes should be made available. The work can be introduced slowly, but a child will greatly benefit from being caught up with schoolwork once that return from treatment.
  4. With each added class some therapy sessions can be decreased as doctors see fit. This can ease a child in to a functioning mode with less and less required help. Of course additional therapy should be available if the child needs help, but giving them independence to do more can only aid in recovery.
  5. A child should be introduced to his or her outpatient care doctor while still in treatment. This can build the trust and familiarity that is needed for successful and continued treatment.
  6. Before the child is released other exposure to the outside world should be included to make sure the patient is ready for the out patient treatment. Limited time should be aloud for the patient to use phones and computers. This will provide the staff with clues about how a child spends their free time. The point is to do as much as posible to prepare a child for the outside world so that they don't have to come back to a treatment center.


  1. Today's children spend more time in school then anywhere else. With homework, and other school related activities, young people are being pushed to the brink. With hardly any time left to play, children are being burned out, and are developing stress related illnesses. Many young people today arrive at adulthood unprepared and uninspired. Giving them back their childhood could transform depression-ridden society in to one that is inspired, content and maybe even happy. In order to grow, all living things need sun and fresh air. By taking way recces in schools we are denying these basic rights to our children. They need time to play, soak up the sun, and let out steam. Through out our schools we have cleasses on many subjects, but not a single class on coping skills. This is a single most important class we should have. Without being able to navigate through life stresses all the other knowledge will lose its meaning.
  2. Educators should have knowledge on mental health as to better assist those they teach. Teachers should be given freedom (with in guidlines) to provide flexible learning environment. One fit all model being used today is not producing positive results.
  3. School counselors must not only have knowledge in mental health, but also know the resources available as to guide those they are helping. This will allow continuity plan to flow and connect schools with treatment clinics.


  1. Parents should be involved in every aspect of the child's care.
  2. Having educational classes available through out communities can help aid parents in understanding child's struggles and teach them skills for positive support.

I understand that in order to incorporate Continuity Plan through out our school system as well as our treatments centers, some legislative laws have to be changed. The means to implement continuity plan are available, we just need Education and Health Policy Makers to want to do it. Parents, schools and communities need to become partners in advocating for young people and demand for positive changes on the policy making level.


April 22 - 1993 - Milan Matic - March 7th 2013

Group Information Sharing System (GISS)

GISS would be group-help program where young people affected by mental illness can get together with others that have similar problems.

Groups main objectives:

  1. Provide relaxed playful environment where young people affected by mental illness can get together with others that have similar problems.
  2. Have a facilitator that would oversee the group and encourage participants to share their struggles and coping skills they use to over come them.
  3. Through discussion, pick most positive coping skill of the night.
  4. Record chosen skill on the Foundation's Information Tower Block (Jenga Block).
  5. Fill the whole Tower with information collected, and use it to create GISS volume booklets.

Strive to provide organic playful environment

The idea is to not use electronics such as cellphones or computers so everyone can fully participate and engage in the conversation.

No Computers

Foundation will provide pens and paper for writing notes, and games will be provided to keep the environment fun and relaxed. Chairs and tables will be provided, but there should be no requirement to seat unless you want to. Moving around and engaging with others through play and laughter gives joy opportunity to grow. Drawing upon, and giving support as a group, can go a long way in reducing ones sense of isolation.

Foundation's signature game

Jenga is our signature game and the Foundation will provide Blocks for building Information Tower. There are 54 blocks in one Jenga Tower, and every week one block will be filled with positive coping skill. Once the Information Tower is complete information will be transfered to booklets that will be availabe to everyone.

We can introduce other games as we go along, but the Information Tower will be Foundation's signature game through which we will be building, sharing, and creating together.

Everyone should be encouraged to share. There is nothing odd or crazy about any thought for it is yours. Talking about it can make it less real, and we can start building communication bridge from one thought process to the next. In moments of mania it is extremely important to have something to hold on, a thought that ties you to this three dimensional world we live in. Mania can make one feel invincible where the rules of physical world might seem to not apply to you. This false sense of feeling is dangerous and those with mood disorders as well as those that love them know just how dangerous it can be. Having a safety mechanism in place is crucial.

Fragmented thoughts suck, but rambling them out loud to those you trust can at a very least provide opportunity to let them out, and at best slow them down where they make sense.

No thought is to odd for it is yours, and therefore deserves attention and validation. It doesn't have to be true. If it originated in your thought process it is valid and talking about it can only help. Exposing it you gain the power over it. Ignoring it gives it a power it doesn't deserve.

I don't know why there is so much sadness. I wish I did. I do know that Love is powerful, and that together a lot can be done in making life better.

Basic Guide Lines for GISS

To provide structured and safe environment the group will have a facilitator. This individual will have responcibility to help select and record chosen coping skill.

Family and friends of the affected youth are encouraged to volunteer as a facilitator. This, for them, could provide a deeper understanding as to what their loved one is going through and provide ability to offer better quality of support. One doesn't need to be a doctor to lead the group. They just need to care. This is about everyone working together through learning and leaning on each other through shared experiences.

Meeting others that are affected goes a long way in reducing persons sense of isolation. Being heard and understood can provide the validation one needs. Even though your internal struggles and overwhelming feelings do not represent your actual reality, they are real and there for valid.

  1. Group should meet once a week and should be split in two groups.
  2. Younger kids 8 to 13 years of age should attend group within their own age bracket. Kids emotional development is different at this age than the group 14 to 21 which should be the latter group.
  3. The program is the same for both groups but the discussion might be deeper for the older group.
  4. Meetings should be in the afternoon unless it is a weekend

    5:00pm to 6:00pm session with kids age 8 through 13 (Subject to change).

    6:30pm to 7:30pm session with kids age 14 through 21 (Subject to change).

  5. Both groups

    If you are under the age of 18th you will need a Foundation permission slip signed by the parent. This is to fallow a basic law guidelines. You are a minor and therefore required a parental permission to participate.

    If you are over the age of 18 you will sign a Foundation Form. This is to let us know that you understand that this is a open group discussion . We encourage sharing of ideas, thoughts and feelings. We will use the most helpful coping methods chosen by the group to make our Information Tower as well as our booklets. It you are the one whose idea is chosen, we will use the information but will not attach the name to it. This is because we promote equality among all and it is our belief that we are here to help one another. Giving is best when done knowing that you do not expect anything in return.

    Diversity is perhaps the greatest gift that we were given. With out it we would not be able to learn anything.

  6. Sessions will not be recorded

    Given the nature of our Group we want to provide privacy for all participating. Although we encourage you to talk, and share inside as well as outside of the group, we do ask for you to not use any names. This group is about sharing information in the organic, kind and helpful fashion.

  7. Everyone will sign in

    This is for our records.

  8. Foundation will print booklets upon each Information Tower Completion

    We will categorize them as volumes, and once we have enough volumes we will create Foundation Book. The goal would be to publish it and help as many people as possible. It could also provide necessary funds for the Foundation to grow and expand.

  9. We encourage each member of our group to share with us ideas on how to improve our sessions. No matter how good a session is there is always a room for improvement. Only you know how much you are getting out of the group.

GISS is about helping each other heal, and learn positive coping skills through shared knowledge.


Events A list of upcoming events that we are hosting.

Past Events

* October 25th, 2015

Thanks to all who helped and participated in #WalkForHope. Beautiful day for a walk, and to show support. People supporting people is a beautiful thing. #LoveStrengthHope

* March 14th, 2015

A huge thank you to everyone. So many people helped in so many different ways which made Our 2nd Annual Fundraiser on, March 14th 2015, a huge success. →

* October 26th, 2014

Thanks to all who helped and participated in #WalkForHope. It was a perfect day as people gathered together to show support. People supporting people is a beautiful thing. #LoveStrengthHope

* March 14th, 2014

Thank you to all who made our first charity event at Duke's Country Saloon on Friday, March 14th 2014, such a special night. We would like to share with you some photos from the night →


On March 11th 2017, our Annual Charity Fundraiser will be held at Duke's Country Saloon. The fundraiser kicks off at 4:00pm. Proceeds from activities will be going towards implementing positive changes in the lives of children affected by mental illness. #LoveStrengthHope #MilanMaticFoundation


The map to the side illustrates the location of Duke's Country Saloon.

Contact If you have any questions regarding the Milan Matic Foundation, please feel free and reach out to us.

Looking for more information? We can be contacted by either email or phone:

+1 (262) 515 - 9282

Walk For Hope Event Registration To register for this event, fill out the form below.
Entry fee is $20.00 per participant.

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