Pictured left to right: Merrill Lynch SVP Lane Wilson, WES Director Paula Steele, and WellStone CEO Jeremy Blair, standing in front of the Quiet Room named in Julie’s memory.

Lane Wilson’s compassion for individuals suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders runs deep. After all, he watched his late wife, Julie, battle addiction and depression for years, crushing her once joyful and effervescent spirit, and breaking his heart. 

“We saw this beautiful, energetic, caretaking mother become a person that lived in desperation,” Lane said. 

On January 31, 2020, his wife of 23 years and the mother of their four precious daughters, died of an accidental overdose. She became addicted to pain pills after several back surgeries. Her substance misuse later co-occurred with severe depression and anxiety. 

It took Lane time to reconcile the reality of his wife’s death, but in the fall of 2021, he came forth with his family’s truth. He wanted people to know that these conditions don’t care who you are or where you live. They don’t care about gender, race, ethnicity, or resources. They can strike anyone, forever extinguishing even the brightest lights, like Julie’s. 

“I thought that talking about our loss could help other families know that they aren’t alone,” Lane added. “And if we talk about these diseases, maybe we can get rid of the stigma that keeps so many people from getting the help they need.” 

Helping others didn’t stop with real and raw conversations. Lane was among the first to pledge a major gift to WellStone’s Be the Rock capital campaign, naming a Quiet Room in Julie’s memory. His gift, along with the tremendous support of others, supported the new WellStone Emergency Services, or WES, crisis care center.  

“We are proud and grateful that we’re able to support this project, and an organization that is so committed to helping people get better,” said Lane.  

If you’d like to join Lane and others in supporting WellStone, please click here.

Lane has since remarried. He and his wife, Cheri Butler Wilson, along with Lane’s daughters, all celebrate the room and Julie’s legacy, recognizing the lifesaving impact WES has on adults in our community. Lane has already pledged his commitment for WellStone’s expanded Be the Rock capital campaign, which will support the children’s crisis care addition currently under construction.  

Thank you, Lane Wilson and family, for turning your extraordinary pain into lifesaving purpose through WellStone.    

WellStone is grateful for your support, regardless of donation size or type. Here are four ways to make a gift to WellStone. Each contribution makes a difference. Give a gift to support life-changing and lifesaving mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment services. Mental illness and substance use disorders affect all of us, either directly or indirectly.

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