Face It Founders: Mark & Bill
Connected by family, living a mere 3 miles apart, and when together joking and horsing around like brothers, Mark Meier and Bill Dehkes assumed they had a good handle on who the other was and how amazing of a life each was living.
“Mark was the “golden child” to our family. He had the big job, amazing wife and kids, his life was perfect,” Bill recalls. “When I was with Bill”, says Meier “all I saw was his big smile, his accomplishments in business, and how confident he was.” To each of them, the other had it easy, while both worked to mask the pain they were secretly living in.
“It was mental health Sunday at our church,” Dehkes remembers. “I leaned over to my wife Wendy and said look your cousin Mark is going to speak about depression.” “My recollection? Well, I was shocked to see Bill and Wendy in the audience and I was petrified to tell my whole story because nobody in the family really knew,” says Meier.
As the hour unfolded, Bill was stunned to learn Mark battled depression, anxiety, self-doubt, shame, and ultimately a suicide attempt. And afterward Mark stood in disbelief as Bill simply said, “You just told my story.”
Two close friends, practically neighbors and brothers, starkly unaware the other wanted to die.
“Face It was born out of our shared and deeply held desire to help other men not only avoid the mistake we both made about ending our lives, but to see that life is worth living and to be celebrated,” states Meier.
“I would give anything to have a few minutes with the men who have died by suicide,” says Dehkes. “I would tell them my story and Mark’s story about the journey of coming through the pain and finding hope!”
Whether leading a group, responding to a man in crisis, sharing laughs at breakfast, walking with a man into a treatment program, or simply allowing a man to shed his tears of pain, Mark and Bill are committed now more than ever to the future of Face It. Both exclaim, “We are just getting started!”