Advocates for Mental Health Change
When the unthinkable happened, we chose to write an open and honest obituary about our son and the huge toll of his mental illness. His death by suicide was the excruciating end of one journey for our family and the important beginning of another.
Our tribute to Ethan Sergey Neubauer, known as Sergei to those who loved him, went viral and helped spark a larger conversation that is still ongoing about the general lack of resources available to help those who are struggling.
We endured the tragedy of being unable to find help for Sergei in Iowa, and we’ve shared our family’s story to provide the real-life perspective about the impact of mental illness. Our goals are to increase mental health awareness and advocacy for suicide prevention.
Sergei will always be our inspiration, and we’re proud to be his soldiers, pushing for change.
His experience is emblematic of what so many others have suffered all around the world. And if by telling his story we can help others tell their own stories and realize they are not alone, we will have done something good.
Please join us in this effort!
Mary Neubauer & Larry Loss
Sergei Neubauer was intelligent, caring, fun-loving, athletic, artistic, handsome, an Eminem fan, and crazy about girls. He was a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, an uncle, a cousin, and a friend to so, so many. He gave the best hugs. But he also struggled with his mental health throughout his life, diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD and survivor's guilt stemming from his abusive and tumultuous childhood in Russia. He fought hard for his health, but could not escape the depth of his pain. Sergei took his own life on Sept. 25, 2017. His obituary, which addressed the excruciating toll of his illness, went viral and became a voice for change.
Fighting for Change
Since Sergei's death, we have been advocating for mental health changes in Iowa. We are not alone. Sergei's Soldiers are a collection of family and friends who are carrying his story forward. We do not tell his story at the sake of anyone else's: His experience is simply emblematic of what so many others have suffered all around the world. Through our efforts and the work of a small army of other activists, mental health changes are coming to Iowa. We will continue to tell Sergei's story and advocate for all those who need mental health care. We know frighteningly well that if this could happen to us, it could happen to anyone.