Help reduce US youth suicide

by Inspire USA Foundation
Vetted

None of us are perfect, but we can definitely try our hardest! And thanks to your support, we now have over 19,500 members in our peer-supported Forums and have reached over 538,239 youth via social media this month! Activity has picked up after the summer lull and we now have over 100 new forum members each week! ReachOut.com and the Forums are unique in the US and ESSENTIAL for encouraging help seeking and stigma reduction to help reduce the teen suicide rate in the US. 

OCTOBER'S PERFECTLY IMPERFECT FEEDBACK: The ReachOut Forums are way for young people who are going through tough times to get peer support, resources, and information. This is what some of them have said about their experiences this past month:

I have just recently started journaling which has been helping a lot. I'll try the red marker idea next time I feel like cutting and will probably call or text the helpline tonight. Thank you so much for taking the time to try and help me, I really appreciate it. <3  (19 years old)

and i will give them a call thank you its really comforting to be able to talk with someone about this it does help exspecially since i always bottle things up inside and hide my pain (18 years old)

Thank you I'm so glad I know that there are people who truly want to help and not want to make me feel worse about whats going on and want to hurt myself again. I really appraise this (18 years old)

Thank you so much, this message filled a hole in my heart when I needed to be herd. (20 years old)

SPOTLIGHT ON A FACT SHEET: Can Perfectionism Hurt You?

Trying to be perfect is good, right? In our newest fact sheet on ReachOut.com, our website for teens and young adults, we explore perfectionism and how it could lead to unhealthy thoughts and behavior.  By using techniques to identify those thoughts and reduce anxiety, you can find different ways that can motivate youself.  Check out our newest fact sheet and share it with your favorite teen or young adult: http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/perfectionism

Thank you again for your HELP and your support! If you want to help get the word out through social media, you can find us at:

Links:

One in 5 youth across the country face mental health challenges and struggle to seek help. One out of 5 means YOU might even know a teen who is too afraid to seek help or doesn't know where they can get support. But with your support, we are getting the word out! We now have over 18,500 members on the peer-supported Forums, 162,434 US visitors to ReachOut.com this month, up a whopping 98% from last year, and as of last week had 543,919 followers on our social media! 

Recent ReachOut Activities:

This month we started working with Oregon State University to train OSU students, mentors and staff in online safety and community building and engagement. We also received Lithium Technology’s first annual charitable gift of $20K in June and have just finished 3.5 years working with the California Mental Health Authority on reducing mental health stigma in the state of California.

ReachOut story: Alyssa

Finding counseling helped Alyssa (22) through one of the hardest times in her life. As a ReachOut Peer Supporter, she makes sure others can say the same. 

In my first year of college, I went through a really bad break up. I isolated myself from my friends, constantly called in sick at work, and hid from my parents in my room. It was difficult to reach out for support because I didn’t want any; I felt like talking about it wasn’t going to help me.

One day after class, a teacher reached out to me and told me about the counseling services on campus, where I eventually received help. My experience receiving help influences my work as a peer supporter because I think it is very important for people to be informed about the resources and services in their community. If I had never found out about the counseling services at my school, I don’t know who I would have turned to because I was afraid of being judged.

My experience has also taught me the importance of peer support. People should feel strong and safe talking about their issues and ReachOut does just that. If someone does not feel comfortable reaching out to family, friends, coworkers, or even classmates, the ReachOut Forums provides a space to get support from peers without feeling judged.

Spotlight on a video:

Asking for help can be scary, but it can make a difference: http://us.reachout.com/wecanhelpus/play/cotton.

Thank you again for your HELP and your support! If you want to help get the word out through social media, you can find us at:

ReachOut at Lithium Conference
ReachOut at Lithium Conference

Links:

ReachOut 2 Me
ReachOut 2 Me

Nonjudgmental support is more important than ever before. For Anna, it made the difference between feeling alone and finding hope. She calls it "a miracle":

I always found it difficult to talk about anything going on in my mind. My family is especially judgmental, and depression isn’t something that is considered a “real” illness in my culture.

Then I discovered the forums, a place I could discuss my feelings anonymously, and it was a miracle. The forums help me vent and hearing back from my peers that have gone through similar experiences has inspired me to keep going and keep fighting to bring awareness to mental illness. 

I believe it is important for teens and young adults to have a space like this, especially if they don’t have anyone else to talk to in their lives. 

I can not thank everyone enough for reaching out to me on the forums and making sure I was always in a good place physically and mentally. -Anna, 22 years old

Dear Friend,

Join us in celebrating ReachOut 2 Me, a campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month dedicated to the support that made the difference when times were tough.

With four powerful words - Reach Out 2 Me - we are encouraging youth and anyone with a young person in their lives to make a compassionate stand and say they are there for those who may be struggling - no judgment. 

All week long (May 11 - 17), we will be sharing these messages across Facebook and Instagram with the #RO2Me hashtag along with stories and stats that underline the impact support from peers can make. Let your freinds know that you are there for them. You will also have the chance to create more channels for young people to receive this critical support by making a donation right here on this page.

Thank you and don't forget to reach out!

Links:

Youth at International Stigma Conference
Youth at International Stigma Conference

Over 676,000!

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.

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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/

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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

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Final thought:

"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

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Help us reach even more youth with your donation today! Thank you for listening!

Links:


Attachments:
You are AMAZING!
You are AMAZING!

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:

  • Reaching 15,000 young people in the Forums, who received and gave each other peer support.
  • 2.9 million US visitors to ReachOut.com.
  • Over 3000 ReachOut Text youth subscribers who received peer support from trained youth Text Supporters.

Our impact: ReachOut.com visitors are more likely than non-users to:

  • Seek professional help.
  • Develop destigmatized views of mental illness.
  • Gain mental health literacy

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! 

Links:


Attachments:
 

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Organization Information

Inspire USA Foundation

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​us.reachout.com/​about-us
Project Leader:
Michelle Walker
Operations Manager
San Francisco, CA United States
$16,990 raised of $35,000 goal
 
334 donations
$18,010 to go
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