Middle James Brewing Company in Pineville recently introduced a new beer to raise awareness for mental health. This special Oktoberfest brew is aptly named “It’s ok to not be ok.” The initiative is part of the Matías Rosado Foundation’s mission to spread awareness about mental health. Last year, Channel 9’s Scott Wickersham interviewed the Rosado family after they tragically lost their 19-year-old son, Matías, to suicide in 2021.
Matías Rosado was a beloved hockey player who was adored by his family. However, as he grew older, his parents Rafael and Rachel Rosado noticed him gradually withdrawing from social interactions. In 2018, Matías began therapy to address his social anxiety, and he continued receiving support throughout his junior year in high school. In 2020, when the pandemic hit, Matías was sent home from the University of North Carolina along with his fellow students. This isolation worsened his mental state.
According to his parents, Matías exhibited various symptoms such as withdrawal, panic attacks, and escalating social anxiety. He eventually resorted to self-harm, which deeply concerned Rafael and Rachel. They began seeking further help and Matías was diagnosed with clinical depression in November 2020. He started taking medication and for a while, it seemed like he was making progress. Matías even expressed the desire to return to UNC. However, his parents had to plead with him to keep fighting.
Rachel expressed how rare it is for parents to have to ask their child for more time and to work with them. The Rosados desperately wanted Matías to stay with them and promised him that they would do whatever it takes. Matías fought as hard as he could, but tragically, on July 17, 2021, he died by suicide at the age of 19. He left notes for his friends and family.
The Middle James Brewing Company hopes that their beer launch will encourage discussions about suicide awareness while enjoying a beer together. The Rosado family’s story sheds light on the importance of raising awareness about mental health and supporting those who are struggling. If you would like to learn more about Matías’ story or find out how you can help those in similar situations, please visit the provided link.
In related news, a nonprofit organization is expanding mental health care for teenagers as the need becomes increasingly critical.