Dylan's Den is tackling the stigma of mental health

NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Nearly two years after her son committed suicide; a local mom has started a new safe gathering place to make sure that anyone who is struggling has a place to go.

After suffering an unimaginable loss, Suzi Breit is turning to help others, by opening up Dylan’s Den in honor of her son, where she hopes to encourage anyone who is struggling to get through just one more day.

“He was an angel on earth and now he is an angel in heaven,” said Suzi Breit. Dylan had a big impact during his 22 years on earth. “He was always encouraging other people to be happy and do their thing,” Breit said.

But he struggled with mental health issues. “He struggled some but he happened to fall into a dark place that day,” Breit said. And on November 20, 2016, Suzi lost her son. “I struggle every day; I am not going to say that I don’t, I do and I never knew a dark side until this,” she said.

But she still has hope that others won’t have to go through what she did. “I know there is light at the end of the tunnel and I know as long as we are all there for each other, we’ll all make it one more day,” Breit said.
That light at the end of the tunnel shines through Dylan’s Den. “It’s safe, you don’t get judged, you get a warm smile, you get a warm hug, you feel accepted and you get that one more day,” said Mandy Krejci, a volunteer at Dylan’s Den.

It’s a place to sit and talk and they even have a den dog named Micah to help lift spirits. “Every time you walk through the door you just feel at peace and happy,” said Cassie Meyer, a volunteer at Dylan’s Den.

There is also a store inside to raise funds for the cause. “The person that happens to be running it right now is somebody that did try to commit suicide, is somebody that wouldn’t come out of their room, is somebody that was very dark and is now doing something amazing with her life all because of Suzy and Dylan’s Den,” Krejci said.

The three even have matching tattoos with semi-colon because Dylan’s story is not over. It’s just one chapter is helping more people get though just one more day. “Bring it up over and over and ask them if they are going to hurt themselves, you just have to ask them and don’t stop asking,” Breit said.

The group will plan to start programming sometime during December in their new building at 123 East 4th Street in Neillsville. They currently have the store open on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2-6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10-12 p.m. During that time Dylan’s Den is open for anyone to come in, hang out and socialize.