Everything Changed in 2020
It was in composing her 21-year-old daughter Siena’s obituary – mere hours after her death from a fentanyl poisoning in their family home – that Sherry Jo Matt first raised her voice to stop the judgment that surrounds mental health and substance use disorders.
Since that devastating day in 2020, Sherry Jo has continued to use her voice to educate, advocate and illuminate the relentless battle many individuals and families are fighting every day.
Sherry Jo Matt
Founder, Stop the Judgment Project
To magnify her message, Sherry Jo and her husband Tom Bott founded Stop the Judgment Project in their daughter Siena’s memory. Its mission is to end the stigma associated with mental health disorders and substance use disorders – two medical conditions which often go hand in hand.
For Sherry Jo, compassion is paramount: “No parent ever thought, ‘My child’s going to grow up to have mental health and substance use disorders.’ No kindergartener aims to be that person. But in today’s world, the reality is it’s happening more and more. And sweeping it under the rug or trying to explain it away only compounds the problems and the pain. We hope to prevent other parents and families from having to experience the pain that is in our hearts every time we open our eyes.”
Through openness, education, advocacy, and funding, Sherry Jo and Tom are determined to change long-held, detrimental attitudes and bring compassion, understanding and assistance to those in need.
Stop the Judgment Project In the News
Our Story and Our Mission In The Media