ReachOut has had a wonderful start to our year. In February alone, YOU helped us reach approximately 676,125 U.S. teens and young adults through ReachOut.com and social media sites* Of these, there were 16,522 young people listening and being listened to in our peer-supporter forums, getting hope, connection and validation of their resiliency.
*Numbers based on unique visitors to ReachOut.com, fans on Facebook, MeetMe.com, Instagram, Tumblr and, YouTube Subscribers and ReachOutinUSA Twitter and Tumblr followers.
The value of listening:
Our ReachOut Speaker’s Bureau speaker and Peer Supporter, Daniel Caldera, spoke at the 7th Annual International Together Against Stigma: Each Mind Matters Conference held in San Francisco last week. In his account of his experience on the Youth Speaks panel, Daniel gives us some great insight into what is the best thing to do when a friend needs help:
“After the other youth and I presented our stories we were then asked follow up questions. A question that stood out to me was, “What do you say to a friend that is in need of help?” I remember immediately thinking, “I wouldn’t say anything, I’d listen.” Throughout my experience up to this point in life I’ve realized one thing, sometimes we just need someone to listen. We are bombarded with advice daily, whether it’s what to wear, what to eat, when to study, etc. Rarely however, do we have that chance to just “release” our innermost thoughts and have them be received by another.”
You can read more of Daniel’s account here: http://www.inspireusafoundation.org/events/youth-join-together-against-stigma/
Youth testimonials in the ReachOut Forums in February:
“I really love you guys. No matter what I need you are always here. Thank you.”- Anonymous
“Thank you so much for making the step to come on here and talk to us about what’s going on. A lot of people really think that things like this will never happen to them and suddenly they feel alone in the dark place and need a hand in order to help them climb out. I want you to know that you are not alone and we are so so happy that you were able to have a friend who offered that hand to you.”– Peer Supporter
"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." -Karl A. Menniger
Help us reach even more youth with your donation today! Thank you for listening!
Building a practice of gratitude is important for one's well-being, and we are so thankful for your donation this year. So here's a big THANK YOU from the bottom of our full hearts for your kind contribution!
Every contribution helps us connect youth to the tools they need to build resilience and withstand tough times -- tools like the powerful peer support provided by volunteers like Mackenzie, 20, a college student who joined us as a ReachOut Text Supporter last fall. She says,
"When I was in high school I definitely could have used ReachOut. I was severely depressed and I didn’t understand what was going on in my life or what was happening to me... I wish I could have been able to talk to someone who would be objective and supportive. That was all that I wanted during this time. The ReachOut community is what I wish the world would be like. There is no judgment, and everyone is very understanding."
If you haven't yet, please share ReachOut.com as a worthy cause with your family and friends to help give teens facing mental health struggles gifts that will last a lifetime: Hope. Connection. Resilience. Help us bring hope through connection and get to our mini goal by the end of the year-we're almost there!
We are grateful for:
Our milestones to date:
Our impact: ReachOut.com visitors are more likely than non-users to:
Social Return on Investment: Every dollar we spend on programming designed to prevent youth suicides and suicide attempts saves society $2.30 in medical and work costs.
YOU! You really do make a difference. Thank you!
Happy Holidays from all of us at ReachOut!
Hope comes from connection.
At the Inspire USA Foundation, we have seen this in the power of peer support and in the strength of our community of youth and mental health advocates - in supporters like YOU. By making a financial contribution and raising your voice for the growing number of teens and young adults across the country who struggle with feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of suicide, you play a crucial role in helping to provide youth with the tools they need to build resilience and withstand tough times. Your gift can change a life, and these are the reasons why:
When you give to ReachOut.com, your gift provides the tools to change lives. Throughout the month, we will be posting the hands and messages of youth who have experienced the power of peer support and have been propelled by that hope and resilience to share their story in our ReachOut High Five for Hope Fundraiser. Right now, for #GivingTuesday, donations of $35, $50, $75 and more will make an even bigger difference to the growing number of teens and young adults across the country who face mental health struggles. See the real impact your generosity can make:
$35 Give $35 = Give Safety
Your gift could provide 1 hour of moderated discussion time for youth forum members in need of support. $50 Give $50 = Give Access
Your donation could allow for 235 additional young people each month to find the resources and peer support at ReachOut.com from Google searches around hopelessness (e.g. life sucks). $75 Give $75 = Give Hope
Your dollars could support the vetting, editing and posting of a powerful youth written story, letting over 700 youth per month who search for stories know that they are not alone in their struggle. $125 Give $125 = Give Resilience
By your donation, one additional fact sheet could be produced for ReachOut’s 100,000+ visitors per month to provide tips on coping with issues such as bullying or self-harm.
$200 Give $200 = Give Connection
Your generosity could contribute towards the training of one additional peer supporter to provide empathy and encouragement to our over 15,000 forum members and outreach advocating wellness to countless others.
Help us bring hope through connection. Please consider donating again or letting your friends and family know about ReachOut.com. Warmly,
Michael Pelfini, Ed. D. CEO, Inspire USA Foundation
The Power of Positivity by Liz Crampton
I am continually amazed by the power of positivity and how our youth community members manage to hold onto it in the face of adversity. Here are 2 recent quotes from ReachOutHere forum members who have been through tough times, from drug addiction to depression, and chosen to share their experiences and help others through:
"New to the scene and full of optomism. Hey ladies and gents my name is Joshua. I just joined this site for multiple reasons: 1) Sometimes I feel like no one understands me and I am sure there are others who feel the same way; I am here to open up and listen to anyone who needs it and I hope that can be reciprocated, 2) Sometimes it is a good thing to just vent your feelings without worry of offending someone or being judged by others, and 3) I finally want to be able to let my guard down with other people who may come into my life so that I can once again be the person that I know I am To everyone on this site, if you ever have a problem that you need help on or need someone to listen to, I am here. I will try to help everyone that I can because I believe the only way we can help ourselves, is to help everyone else first!" (collinsje09)
"One of the things I have learned from having depression is that time is one of the best healers. If today is the worst day of your life, then you can be proud of yourself at the end of the day for getting through it. And I don't think anything is wrong with you at all! The road to getting better is bumpy at times; some days and weeks will be better, and some worse. It takes time to learn how to deal with depression, but I promise, it will pay off. I know you can do this." (Dragonrider)
Spotlight on a video
The Power of a Hug: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khwGM8IHOBc Find out why a simple hug can be a powerful change in a person’s life.
ReachOut.com in the news
Gearing Up for #GivingTuesday!
You already generously given to our project, so THANK YOU! And if you are considering donating again, we wanted to let you know that #GivingTuesday on Dec 2nd will be the kick-off for our year-end fundraising campaign! You can make your donation in honor or in memory of someone, or give a donation as a holiday gift and GlobalGiving will send the gift recipient a tribute card. Please consider donating again or letting your friends and family know about ReachOut.com.
ReachOut is an information and support service that uses evidence based principles and technology to help teens and young adults who are facing tough times and struggling with mental health issues. Most content is written by teens and young adults, for teens and young adults, to meet them where they are, and help them recognize their own strengths in order to overcome their difficulties and/or seek help if necessary.
For the last fiscal quarter, with the help of our CalMHSA and RS&E partners, we:
Almost 14,000 members! With your help, we are providing these youth with tools to combat their feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and connection for their feelings of isolation. Thank you for your contributions to our cause!
Here is direct feedback from those youth that you are helping with your support:
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.