Rob Mathews Foundation
In 1975, Rob Mathews, a seventeen-year-old boy, committed suicide. Rob changed from a bright, outgoing little boy, to a moody, depressed, teenager with ferocious thirst for alcohol. He was sent to a well-known treatment center that provided a traditional 12-step psychological, approach. All he got was talk therapy from counselors who reviewed his young life, and convinced him that his drinking was a psychological response of blaming himself for his father’s death— new idea for Rob. When he left the program he was abstinent, but very unstable with severe mood swings and depression. Shortly after returning home, he talked enthusiastically about his plans for school, and the next morning he was found dead under the exhaust pipe of a car. Treatment did its best, but it wasn’t enough. The tragedy started Rob’s mother, Joan Mathews-Larson, on a search for answers: what might have made a difference to save Rob’s young life; what was missing from traditional treatment; why do so many treated alcoholics end their own lives?