We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathy Mullen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathy, how does your business help the community?
Mental Health illnesses and the stigma attached are long overdue for breaking the silence. Suicide isn’t a topic that you typically learn about until it hits home with a family member or friend. Remaining at the bedside of my only child, Eric, while the organ transplant team was preparing for his organs to be donated, I made the most powerful commitment of my life. To share my personal experience authentically of how shattering it is to lose a loved one to suicide, with the intention of programs other families not experiencing this type of loss.
Mullen’s Miracles is a 501(c)3 nonprofit formed in 2020 from the commitment I made to Eric and has become my guiding light. The vision for Mullen’s Miracles is to provide individualized options, respective support systems, and support provisions to those on the edge, those assisting others in crisis, and to those that have lost a loved one to suicide.
I am committed to growing Mullen’s Miracles into a legacy organization that will serve nationwide at a minimum, well beyond my involvement, through awareness, education, and programs designed to make a lasting impact while saving lives.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I had an IT career for 35 + years that was inclusive of leading teams of various corporate applications, with a focus on ERP Human Capital Management and General Ledger applications. My role also included RFP’s for software selection, implementations, upgrades and leading acquisitions, divestitures and consolidations. The last few years of my IT career, I was a consultant as a lead | project manager.
After losing my son, Eric to suicide, 10-2-2018, my world was shattered. I experienced the inability to function properly as I acquired illnesses I had never experienced. I was diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, Massive Depressive Disorder, and Complicated Grief. I had to make difficult choices on how I would function and move my life forward. I had made a commitment to Eric I would be the voice he didn’t think he had when took his life and help others.
I chose not to take medications but instead I immersed myself in lots of therapy and different kinds as I learned acceptance.
At the end of the first year, 2019, my long term disability had run out and I knew I was unprepared to return to a corporate work environment. I prayed a lot not knowing what my future would hold. A few months later I started ‘practicing’ how to work again, still slow and making mistakes. I kept at it.
In the mean time I met with a dear friend, Jim Vinyard, who has many years experience in nonprofits. During the past year I have invested money into starting Mullen’s Miracles. My passion has shifted to helping others through resources and education not experience suicide of a loved one while creating a community support system to help others have the support and resources they need.
I certainly have had plenty of challenges in the last 2.5 years as well as in my prior career. However, I am most proud of learning acceptance of things we cannot change, improving what we can, and taking the biggest risk of my life into an area that I know in my heart is right. Even providing me with joy and peace.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh my gosh there are so many and something for everyone!!!! I loved when my son, Eric, would visit as we were the ultimate tourists! Starting downtown is definitely worth a day or two touring many of the iconic places – Fox Theater, Coke Tour, CNN Tour, The Aquarium, Centennial Park, the Ferris Wheel and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The Varsity is an iconic restaurant to grab some food. If you are lucky enough to be here at the end of the year – buy tickets in advance so you can experience Holiday Light Display at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
Heading a bit south of town took us the beautiful Stately Oaks Plantation in Jonesboro. Senoia where is a fun town to see where the Zombie television show was filmed. For a fun ride on the way back to Atlanta, check out the Porsche Atlanta Perimeter.
Another summer time adventure is attending an Atlanta Braves game at SunTrust Park.
Hiking is always a favorite adventure! I love the All Trails app. If you are in shape for an adventure, the scenery at the top of Blood Mountain on the Appalacian Trail is worth the breathtaking view. Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, GA aren’t too far away for some amazing fresh baked goods too. Calories don’t count after a hike.
Countless amazing outdoor amphitheaters for local entertainment to touring bands. Chastain Memorial Park is a fantastic place to see a concert!
Ponce City Market is a highlight for shopping, food, hanging out and checking out The City Winery.
Lake Lanier Islands is definitely worth a day at the beach or golf course. You can’t go wrong at Margaritaville!
Athens, home of UGA is a great adventure to visit a college town and walk the campus with countless amazing places to eat.
These just touch the surface of fun things to do in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Be sure to pack some casual clothes and walking shoes! Maybe even consider scheduling a massage too.
You won’t be disappointed!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Jim Vinyard from VCG Experience Co | Vinyard Creative Group
Mary Hannah Harte Photography; Zoey Marie Photography