Help reduce US youth suicide

by Inspire USA Foundation
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:
Hope through connection
Hope through connection

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

Links:

Power of Positivity
Power of Positivity

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.   

Links:

Peer Supporters!
Peer Supporters!

Finding Success:

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: 

  • Participated in 10 outreach events, hosted 3 trainings, and presented at 3 conferences. 
    • We trained 37 youth from across CA in outreach, peer support and text support. 
  • Increased the volume of US (+50%) and CA (+100%) ReachOut.com traffic this quarter.
  • Added more than five new features to the Reachout.com site to improve engagement and increase conversion of visitors to members, leading to . . .
  • Doubled our new US ReachOut.com forum members compared to last quarter and tripled our new CA forum members for a total of 2,832 CA members and 13,994 US members.
  • Doubled our ReachOut Text participation compared to last quarter, including doubling CA participants with 205 total participants and 44 from CA.

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! 

Testimonials: 

Here is direct feedback from those youth that you are helping with your support:

  • Im so glad a site like this exists. Not just for me, but for people who are going through things. I've learned the hard way that no matter how love you feel, no matter how many people you surround yourself by, there will come times when none of them will be able to help you and some might even kick you when you're down. That's when you'll the sympathetic ear of a stranger comes. So more power to this site.
  • I lock myself in my room or in the bathroom and just cry because nobody (family and peers) don't understand how I feel...this site seems like the only place I can actually pour out my feeling and not get judged...I feel a little more calm now that I have found this site... and thank you very much about reading this...
  • Thank you, all of you. It really helped!  No, there is no LGBTQ+ groups that I know of anywhere near me, though I will look into that. One of my best friends, a straight girl named Alice (Name has been changed) who might be someone I can talk to. Everything that you all have told me has really helped me and made me realize that it doesn't matter what everyone else says around me, its what I think that counts. Thank you all so much!  There is no one around me but myself pressuring me. I would really like to know who I am, as I love to try to help other people through my Youtube account. If I don't know who I am, I can't help people very well can I? Anyway, I'm looking at online groups I could join, but everyone here has helped me so much. It means a lot!
  •  Just wanted to let you all know that this morning I came out to a friend. First time coming out to someone I know. They are very accepting, which is nice. It feels wonderful, it's very relieving having someone else know. I don't know when I'll tell someone next, but for now I'm okay. It does get better :hug:
Changing their world
Changing their world

Links:

Youth for Mental Health
Youth for Mental Health

Reaching Out @ Mental Health Matters Day

The sea of lime green ribbons sprawled in front of the state capitol was just one feature designed to make Mental Health Matters Day stand out. The bright accessories, worn by the Inspire staff among other leaders,visionaries, and young people in attendance, reflected attendees' collective effort to draw attention to the need for reducing stigma and raising awareness of mental health.

As part of the larger mental health movement supported by the Stigma and Discrimination Reduction campaign run by California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), Inspire was thrilled to participate in the mental health and community-based resource fair that kicked off the day. Along with providing temporary tattoos and materials on the ReachOutHere and Busca Apoyo campaigns, we also hosted a "Sink Stigma" beanbag toss and invited attendees to write encouraging notes to their future selves. ReachOut Peer Supporters and Text Supporters were also on hand to answer questions and share their stories of providing support online and via text message.

"Glee" star Max Adler (pictured here with ReachOut volunteers) and director Bradley Buecker returned to announce the winners of the competition. This year, the contest was extended to University of California students along with high school students across the state. While only four entries received the top prize (see all winners and videos here), all the submissions were impressive for creatively communicating a powerful message around suicide prevention or ending the silence around mental illness.

by Meredith Sires, Web Editor

ReachOut Celebrates Diversity & Community   

Soka University’s International Festival is an exciting annual event where people, nonprofits and businesses all over Orange County come together to celebrate diverse cultures. As a Soka student and Peer Supporter, this year, I volunteered to attend and represent the ReachOutHere campaign.

A brutal heat wave had settled over Aliso Viejo that week, but thankfully my fellow peer supporter Susana arrived with a sturdy canopy, a 38 pack of cool water bottles and some snacks. The provisions refueled our spirits and with newfound energy, we proceeded to reach out by sharing our experiences with ReachOut.com and inviting students to chat and potentially get involved.

Our booth was surrounded by a festive atmosphere generated by the international theme with people in traditional garments, delicious smells wafting from ethnic food stands and foreign tunes in the air.

All this reminded me that these outreach events are more than just publicity projects, they can create a special space for people to take refuge. The smiles that our volunteers give at our booths inspire hope and introduce the spirit of ReachOut.com. Ideally, it will help others smile, lend an ear or give a compliment. As I've learned in the forums, you might not always see the effects of your actions, but rest assured, you are making someone at least a little bit happier.

by Roberto De La Pena, Jr, Peer Supporter


Talking ReachOut TXT @ YTH Live 2014

YTH (Youth + Tech + Health) is a multi-day conference centered around the intersection between health and utilizing the technology most relevant to youth in order to reach them. Topics span from texting and sexual health to blogging about mental health. It's an innovative, modern approach to old problems.

As a ReachOut Text Supporter, I had the privilege of watching ReachOut California Director Nicola Survanshi speak about our program alongside a Planned Parenthood representative, who spoke on a program that allows those with questions or concerns about sexual health to text in and receive answers. The response was incredible, with people in the room asking questions that ranged from our availability outside of text hours to how to launch a similar service in their own community.

After the talk, Will, another ReachOut TXT Supporter, and I fielded questions from those around us, and I was amazed at the support and interest from people asking about the texting service, sharing their own projects, and offering encouragement.

I had to leave early in order to attend my volunteering shift as a text supporter, but I still managed to attend the “By Youth, For Youth” talk, which featured speakers who presented on programs that promoted health among youth. And as I headed to Powell Street, my head buzzed with the information I’d received. 

“There is a community of people who care about health and youth,” I thought. “That’s amazing.” 

by Echo Yupan Lu, ReachOut Text Supporter

ReachOut Goes to SOKA
ReachOut Goes to SOKA

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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
$14,344 raised of $35,000 goal
 
283 donations
$20,656 to go
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