Brooklyn mom uses non-profit to honor late son, raise awareness for mental illness

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BAY RIDGE -

A mourning mother is turning her grief into good.

Alison Rosen's son Michael Vincent Rosen-Pipitone struggled with bipolar disorder until his death in 2013. But he did not die from his illness, he died from neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome is a disorder that occurs after you take medications that are used for psychosis, which block the dopamine receptors in your brain.

Only about 3 percent of those on anti-psychotic meds get NMS, which has symptoms that include altered mental state, rigidness, fever and abnormal blood pressure and pulse.

Rosen is making sure her son's story is known with the MVRP Foundation, a non-profit she started to raise awareness about the difficulties those with mental illnesses face.

"There needs to be more in place to help those who struggle, says Rosen. "One medication that Michael was given caused him to be so depressed, he said 'Mom, if this is the way you are asking me to live, I don't want to.'" 

With the MVRP Foundation, Rosen is organizing a benefit each year to raise awareness and funds for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and local students.

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