The Second Wind Fund is the March High 5 Plumbing Cares Nonprofit Recipient
We are proud to announce our collaboration with The Second Wind Fund for the month of March!
The Second Wind Fund has built an innovative program that matches children and youth, ages 19 and younger, who are at risk for suicide and do not have the means or adequate insurance for necessary mental health treatment, with licensed therapists in their local communities or potentially via teletherapy.
Click here to see our interview with Josh from The Second Wind Fund.
Who is The Second Wind Fund?
Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth in Colorado. Recent data indicates that within one school year, 1 in 5 Colorado high school students (17%) reported seriously considering suicide. It is an unfortunate reality that access to quality mental health care is limited. More so than ever before, it has become increasingly difficult to navigate mental healthcare and prohibitively expensive to afford therapy.
This is where The Second Wind Fund steps in.
The organization focuses on improving access and delivery of suicide care. This unique program provides an avenue for families to obtain actual treatment services for children and youth at risk for suicide by breaking down financial and transportation barriers.
How does this program work?
Here’s how The Second Wind Fund works at its core:
- Obtain a Referral – Receive a referral from a mental health professional. If you are a caregiver or youth, contacting your school’s mental health staff is a good place to start.
- Get Approved – Once SWF receives a referral, we promptly connect the Qualified Referral Source (QRS) with a list of local, specialized therapists for the youth to choose from.
- Receive Support – Youth have access to 12 sessions of cost-free therapy with a specialized therapist in their community. We also provide navigation assistance to families and community members.
Referrals are typically made by school mental health staff (School Counselors, Social Workers, or Psychologists) and sometimes by other mental health professionals or medical doctors. Homeschooled youth or those no longer attending school are also eligible. For navigation support, the organization welcomes any guardian or youth to reach out and access a list of potential therapists.
Sometimes even finding the right provider can be a barrier. For children and teens who have Medicaid, CHP+, or private insurance that adequately covers mental health treatment, Second Wind Fund can help narrow down a list of therapists who meet the child or teen’s needs bypassing confusing healthcare systems.
When did this get started?
The belief that the tragedy of a young person choosing to take their own life can be prevented was the prime motivator for the founders of Second Wind Fund back in 2002. That school year, four students at a Jefferson County school in Colorado died by suicide in a nine-month time frame.
In response to these four suicides, three members of a local faith community, Jeff Lamontagne, Dr. Marjorie Laird, and Scott Fletcher organized a small, community Walk/Run to show solidarity with the school. The event, attended by 66 people, also raised a modest amount of money, and it was decided to use that money to provide direct support to other young people who were struggling at the school. The Second Wind Fund Program was then created to continue providing access to professional counseling services to youth deemed at risk for suicide.
Other schools in the county heard about the program and word began to spread to other communities in Colorado. Now, Second Wind Fund services are available throughout the state. Eighteen years since its inception, Second Wind Fund is serving 30 counties and continues to expand its services.
How can we help as a community?
Second Wind Fund believes that open, honest communication about the pervasiveness of suicide is critical to reducing its incidence. Their staff and Board of Directors are passionately working to provide vital access to life-saving therapy for youth in rural and urban areas of Colorado.
If you’re interested in supporting Second Wind Fund, there are a few ways you can contribute:
- Volunteer with Second Wind Fund
- Sponsor an Event
- Host a Fundraiser
For more information on how you can participate, click here or check out www.thesecondwindfund.org.
We are looking forward to this partnership and we can’t wait to follow Second Wind Fund as they grow and support our communities here in Colorado!