Month: August 2019

Lost&Found builds its financial and resource capacity in new ways

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Editor’s note: In the second half of 2019, Lost&Found is expanding its effort to end suicide for young adults in the United States in four significant ways: adding new campus chapters, refocusing its programming on resilience, expanding its mental health research efforts, and seeking new sources of financial support. This is the fourth in a four-part series looking at those efforts.

Lost&Found’s resilience programming efforts are drawing regional attention, and to maintain the pace of its impact on suicide prevention efforts on South Dakota’s college campuses, Lost&Found is seeking to raise more than $100,000 in new philanthropic capital by August 2020.

“We’ve put in the work, and we’re ready to launch,” says Lost&Found CEO Erik Muckey. “Through years of experience, research, and strategy, Lost&Found is now poised to not only create sustainable impact in South Dakota, but throughout the surrounding region. In order to align a sustainable financial model with our vision of ending suicide for young adults in the United States, we first need community support and investment, both in Lost&Found and the mental health ecosystem regionally and nationally.”

By late July 2019, Lost&Found had already exceeded all of its 2018 fundraising efforts, bringing in over $25,000 to support its growing programs. $5,000 came through Kicks for a Cause, a Sioux Falls charity kickball tournament. The Lost&Found team was sponsored by American Bank & Trust, Heritage Bank NA, Davenport Evans, Audio and Visual Integrations, and The Diamond Room. The Sands Family Social Venturing Fellowship at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management also invested $10,000 in Lost&Found.

Lost&Found’s leaders are looking to several sources for the next stage of Lost&Found’s fundraising efforts.

One strategy is the FOUNDers Club, in which supporters give $10-$30 a month to support the staffing needed to deliver support to students, advisers, and student leaders.

“When starting a social enterprise, having a commitment and consistency from our donors really makes a difference to manage the expenses that we know are coming,” Muckey said. He added that the FOUNDers Club name, while also being a play on the name of the organization, reflects the idea that these consistent supporters are helping to found the organization in much the same way that the actual founders are, with funding that represents their own commitment to the cause.

The FOUNDers Club has a good start with 12 members already committed in 2019.

A second source of funding is individual or corporate gifts.

“Five hundred dollars brings resilience training to 50 students,” Muckey said. “We’re looking for individuals and organizations ready to help us scale our impact in South Dakota and beyond, whether through one-time gifts, a long-term giving plan, or matching gifts.”

Those interested can learn about the various ways in which they can give through Lost&Found’s Giving Options page.

Lost&Found will also participate in the SD Day of Giving on December 3, 2019. The organization will get the word out through Facebook before the event. Supporters can also make their online shopping count anytime by designating Lost&Found as their charity of choice on Amazon Smile.

“We are incredibly thankful for your support,” Muckey said. “Lost&Found and its many partners have made and will continue to change the game in campus mental health, starting with students at USD, SDSU, USF, and DWU. With your continued help, we can impact the lives of more students where we serve today and at institutions ready to partner with us.

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We’re ready to launch, and we need the support of our community. We’re hosting a Lost&Found Launch Event from 5 to 7 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019, at the Fernson Tap Room in Sioux Falls.

Come hear more about the way Lost&Found is ramping up its efforts this fall and the years to come!

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Lost&Found expands its research efforts to three more campuses

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Editor’s note: In the second half of 2019, Lost&Found is expanding its effort to end suicide for young adults in the United States in four significant ways: Adding new campus chapters, refocusing its programming on resilience, expanding its mental health research efforts, and seeking new sources of financial support. This is the third in a four-part series looking at those efforts.

After a successful student survey initiative was launched at South Dakota State University this past year, Lost&Found will soon provide research support to campus counseling centers and administration at the other three campuses we serve: the University of South Dakota, Dakota Wesleyan, and the University of Sioux Falls.

Many college campuses, including those in South Dakota, have limited data to inform their decisions on how to provide mental health care. Data gathering efforts on suicide attempts, ideation and local prevention factors vary widely, based on campus’s staffing capacity and funding. Lost&Found’s expanded research efforts will help to fill that gap, so that campus counseling centers and administrators can more effectively target programs and services to the needs of their students.

The research will focus on five areas: 1) gathering information on existing mental health data, 2) identifying gaps, 3) completing needs assessments for each campus, 4) provide recommendations for strengthening existing services/programs or creating new, and 5) implementing strategies to maintain comprehensive student mental health data.

For new partnering institutions, the need is clear.Like many other colleges and universities across the nation, the University of Sioux Falls has seen a steady increase in the need for mental health support services for students throughout the last decade,” says University of Sioux Falls Counselor Michelle DeHoogh-Kliewer. With the case load in USF Counseling Services dramatically rising over the last several years, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Lost & Found to further understand the needs of our students and provide education, prevention, and support.” 

For South Dakota State, the work continues. After delivering the University of Minnesota’s College Student Health Survey to over 1,100 SDSU students last spring, South Dakota State administrators will soon have access to survey results by mid-September. This new mental health data can help administrators understand mental health needs of a larger set of SDSU students, while setting a foundation for future program changes and additional research efforts. The effort exceeded expectations in a major way, far outpacing the initial goal of reaching 400 SDSU students.

Lost&Found’s new research efforts at the University of South Dakota, University of Sioux Falls, and Dakota Wesleyan University will launch in Fall 2019. Data will be made public at an appropriate time in communication with each partnering institution. For now, data will remain in the hands of college administrators as they analyze how they can better serve their students, and partner with Lost&Found to do so.

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We’re ready to launch, and so is our research. We’re hosting a Lost&Found Launch Event from 5 to 7 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019, at the Fernson Tap Room in Sioux Falls.

Come hear more about the way Lost&Found is ramping up its efforts this fall and the years to come!

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Resilience at heart of new Lost&Found programming

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Editor’s note: In the second half of 2019, Lost&Found is expanding its effort to end suicide for young adults in the United States through four significant actions: Adding new campus chapters, refocusing its programming on resilience, expanding its mental health research efforts, and seeking new sources of financial support. This is the second in a four-part series looking at those efforts.

Lost&Found’s chapters, advisers, and campus leaders will begin the school year with a new focus on resilience as they implement new programming on South Dakota’s college campuses.

The new framework has three parts: Resilience for Self, Resilience for Others, and Resilience for Community.

  • The Resilience for Self program brings 90-minute, face-to-face seminars to Lost&Found partnering campuses. These seminars are designed to provide practical skill development to improve everyday resilience, ranging from meditation and yoga nidra practices to stress management tools to writing as a tool for mindfulness to personal strengths tests and more.
  • The Resilience for Others program is a comprehensive, peer advising training designed for any college student to provide support to friends and peers. The program connects students with a variety of training from Lost&Found’s off-campus partners—such as the Helpline Center or American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)—and peer advising training developed by Lost&Found to help others in their time of need.
  • The Resilience for Community program encompasses Lost&Found’s long-time efforts on college campuses: creating community for students to connect on the issue of mental health and advocate for student needs. Chapters lead and develop programs that drive community advocacy, increase awareness of student needs, improve policy, and bring together students across different needs and backgrounds.

Lost&Found’s mission hasn’t changed. The organization is still focused on its vision of ending suicide for young adults in the United States. But, a newfound focus on resilience allows the prevention efforts to start far earlier, long before an individual suicide is a consideration.

Those working to prevent suicide know that treatment can help. But it can’t help if people don’t access it, and many people won’t seek treatment because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, including depression. This programming’s focus on resilience is in part an effort to work around that stigma—because there’s no stigma in seeking to be resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

And, beyond reaching those who need treatment but wouldn’t otherwise seek it, this focus on resilience also provides all participants with more tools for maintaining good mental health or improving it.  

Over the course of the summer, student leaders have been trained on the framework, how to lead and operate a L&F chapter, how to collaborate with institutional partners such as student affairs, and how to tailor programs to meet student mental health needs.

“The town halls this summer really helped me expand my knowledge on how to be a leader and to help others,” says Ashley Fuerst, University of South Dakota Chapter Vice President. “Being able to video chat with students from different campuses and Lost&Found staff was beneficial, because we got to bounce ideas off each other and really get to know one another. This is my first time being in an [student organization] executive role, and after this summer, I feel prepared to represent what Lost&Found is genuinely about.”

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We’re ready to launch, and so are our new programs. We’re hosting a Lost&Found Launch Event from 5 to 7 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019, at the Fernson Tap Room in Sioux Falls.

Come hear more about the way Lost&Found is ramping up its efforts this fall and the years to come!

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Lost&Found welcomes two new chapters

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Editor’s note: In the second half of 2019, Lost&Found is expanding its effort to end suicide for young adults in the United States in four significant ways: adding new campus chapters, refocusing its programming on resilience, expanding its mental health research efforts, and seeking new sources of financial support. This is the first in a four-part series looking at those efforts.

Lost&Found will grow to four dots on the South Dakota map this fall as student chapters start up at the University of Sioux Falls and Dakota Wesleyan University (Mitchell). They will join long-standing chapters at the University of South Dakota (Vermillion) and South Dakota State University (Brookings).

“For some time, we’ve been considering, ‘where does Lost&Found go to create more impact?’” Lost&Found CEO Erik Muckey said. “Over the course of a few weeks in early 2019, we found a clear answer—there is a need right here in our backyard, and we’re ready to meet it. To serve a campus in Sioux Falls, where we are headquartered as an organization, and a campus so closely tied to our founding roots [former President DJ Smith grew up in Mitchell] is incredibly meaningful to our team.”

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UNIVERSITY OF SIOUX FALLS JOINS LOST&FOUND CHAPTER NETWORK

In spring 2019, a coalition of student affairs leadership and campus counselors championed efforts to start a chapter at the University of Sioux Falls. The newly-founded USF chapter will include a team of 11 students and a new adviser, Brooke Murphy.

“We want our students to live fully engaged lives while at USF and beyond,” said Murphy, who is also an assistant professor of education at USF. “L&F provides opportunities for students to learn and grow in what that means for them as individuals and as members of a community.”

Student Hannah DeHoogh-Kliewer, who will lead the chapter as its president, says starting a Lost&Found chapter makes a statement about the kind of community USF wants to be. “The University is taking a progressive step in addressing the importance of resiliency and mental health on a college campus,” DeHoogh-Kliewer said. “As President, I hope to help form a community that more openly engages in conversation about the joys and hardships of life and how we can navigate this stage [of life] together.”

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LOST&FOUND COMES HOME: DAKOTA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY JOINS THE FOLD

Reaching Dakota Wesleyan is a natural fit for Lost&Found, as the organization emphasizes many of the institution’s values, including the need for innovative approaches to complex problems facing rural communities, which includes mental health and suicide prevention. The new DWU L&F chapter will launch with a team of five students, led by Chapter President Maryssa Nohr. Jenny Noteboom, Director of Counseling at DWU, will serve as their adviser.

“In my opinion, the most crucial role of the Lost&Found chapter at DWU will be developing a peer mentor program to assist our students,” says John Kippes, Director of Student Life. Kippes and Prevention Education and Training Coordinator Katie Salden played a critical role in bringing DWU Lost&Found to campus. The DWU L&F chapter will collaborate with student affairs and prevention education services as part of its on-campus efforts.

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KEY PARTNERSHIPS DRIVE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR NEW CHAPTERS

Both chapters received critical financial support from local grantmakers and long-term partners of Lost&Found to make these new chapters possible.

The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation gave $2,500 through its Spot Grant program to launch the new USF chapter. The Spot Grant program provides grants of up to $2,500 for projects that meet an important community need and are expedited for review within 10 business days.

Long-time partner and friend of Lost&Found, American Bank & Trust, gave $2,500 as part of a sponsorship for Lost&Found’s participation in the annual Kicks for a Cause event held in Sioux Falls. All of AB&T’s gift was applied to launch the Lost&Found chapter at Dakota Wesleyan. Kicks for a Cause is an annual event held in Sioux Falls, bringing together 16 local nonprofits to compete in a friendly kickball tournament while raising funds and awareness.

“We are fortunate to have community partners who understand the need for investment in improving lifelong mental health in South Dakota,” says CEO Erik Muckey. “The support of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation and American Bank & Trust will leave lasting legacies of mental well-being at the University of Sioux Falls and Dakota Wesleyan University.”

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Lost&Found ready to launch, and so are our chapters. We’re hosting a Lost&Found Launch Event from 5 to 7 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019, at the Fernson Tap Room in Sioux Falls.

Come hear more about the way Lost&Found is ramping up its efforts this fall and for the years to come!
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