Tag: resilience

Our storytelling project will be back this September. Submissions are welcome.

Lost&Found, in partnership with the South Dakota Humanities Council and 4Front Studios, is conducting a digital storytelling project for National Suicide Prevention Month (September).  

The project, titled “30 Days, 30 Stories: Let’s #DoMore to Prevent Suicide,” will tell the stories of 30 youth and young adults from the state of South Dakota who have faced and overcome adversity resulting from mental health challenges and/or suicide ideation, risks, attempts, and loss. As South Dakota faces record suicide rates, the need to share and understand what resources are most helpful to someone who may be struggling with mental health condition(s) or suicide ideation is greater than ever. For every day of September, one story of resilience will be released online to share a message of hope and help to those who may be struggling.

As an organization focused on providing comprehensive suicide prevention resources for youth and young adults 10-34 in South Dakota and the surrounding region, Lost&Found’s goal for this project is to increase access to statewide mental health and suicide prevention resources that young adults and families find relevant to their experiences, identities, and communities. The project is also meant to create conversations in our communities about what will make the greatest difference in someone’s life.

Lost&Found conducted the first #30Days30Stories project last year. Those stories reached an impressive number of people through social media channels and also yielded insights on the empowering possibilities of storytelling.

Share your story

 

Why are we conducting a storytelling project?

An honest, heartfelt story has the power to change hearts and minds. As South Dakota and the surrounding region face continually rising suicide rates, we’ve asked individuals to share their stories of resilience to lend hope, opportunities for conversation, and resources to South Dakota communities.

As an organization focused on providing comprehensive suicide prevention and postvention resources for young adults 10-34 in South Dakota and the surrounding region, Lost&Found has three main goals for this campaign:

  • Increase awareness of mental health challenges all around us, as this can reduce the stigma of mental illness and seeking help.
  • Empower people to share their stories. This includes the people who are featured here, but also those who read and identify with these stories and may find courage to tell their own. Storytelling involves deciding what details matter (and which don’t), and finding meaning in a series of events. This process can be healing in itself.
  • Promote the resources that can help people through even the darkest of times. We especially want people to learn about and know how to access the statewide suicide prevention resources that young adults and families have found relevant to their experiences, identities, and communities.

 

We invite you to submit your story.

If you have gone through a mental health challenge or felt the impact of suicide, this project is an opportunity for you to be empowered by sharing your story. You can help someone in similar circumstances navigate the challenges and resources necessary to find their own hope and resilience.

We recognize that sharing a story is a personal decision that may involve grief, trauma, and vulnerability, and we completely respect and understand if this is not something you wish to do. There are other ways to support the goals of the project if that is of interest.

Here’s the process:  

  • You’ll fill out a form with eight questions about your story and your experiences seeking resources and support that helped them navigate a mental health condition or impacts from suicide (ideation, attempt, loss, or other experience).
  • You will also be required to fill out a waiver, either on your own or with support from a parent.
  • Someone from Lost&Found will contact you to schedule a time for a photo/video shoot in one of three locations (Rapid City, Aberdeen, or Sioux Falls) in July or August, depending on location. If those times/locations don’t work for you, we’ll work with you to schedule a time that does. You will be able to keep these two professional headshots, video, and any other materials at no cost to use as you see fit!
  • Your written responses will be turned into a story to be published with a professional headshot and a brief, 30-second-or-less video capturing their experiences and shared on 30stories.resilienttoday.org and on Lost&Found social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
  • In addition, four participants will have the opportunity to share their stories as part of live podcasting sessions held in various locations throughout the state of South Dakota closest to where that participant lives.
  • You will also receive materials from Lost&Found to navigate conversations about mental health that may arise with the campaign.
  • You will be notified of when your story will be shared in September and invited to spread the word to others in your community who may want or need to hear about your experiences.
  • Please note that because we have a limited number of days and because we want to share stories from a diversity of perspectives, we may not publish every story that’s submitted for this year’s project. We may request to use your story for future projects if that’s the case.

Your story could help to spread a message of hope, help, and resilience. Go to the link below to share your story.

Share your story

Lost&Found’s Peer2Peer Mentorship Program expanding to seven additional campuses in South Dakota

After a successful pilot project at South Dakota State University (SDSU) last spring, the suicide prevention nonprofit Lost&Found is continuing its Peer2Peer Mentorship Program at SDSU and expanding the program to seven additional post-secondary schools in South Dakota. This program expansion is funded through a Center for Disease Control and Prevention grant awarded to the State of South Dakota and governed through an agreement established with the South Dakota Department of Health.

The program matches student mentors, who are often students planning to go into health or mental health professions, with students who need support. Counseling centers on college campuses have long wait times as demand for their services has increased in recent years, and the mentoring program aims to help alleviate some of that burden.

Peer2Peer Mentorship Program expansion efforts were jumpstarted by the fundraising efforts of Paul and Leigh Longley and the inaugural Ben’s Long Ball 22 Classic Golf Tournament, held in July 2021. Funding from the tournament provided initial funding to train peer mentors at SDSU and the University of South Dakota, as well as create new digital materials and training guides for the program. The new program partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health guarantees two years of funding for ongoing program support for eight institutions throughout the state, with emphasis on serving post-secondary institutions in the Black Hills region.

Mentors connect at-risk students with campus resources, help them set academic and personal goals, and support them in times of struggle. The program serves mentors by providing them comprehensive training around mental health, goal setting, and mentoring skills. L&F also has a graduate assistant at both SDSU and USD who provides ongoing coaching and support to student mentors.

Susan Kroger, Director of Programs at Lost&Found, worked with Carrie Jorgensen, a campus counselor and a Lost&Found adviser at SDSU, to develop the program. Kroger described the program when it was in its pilot program stage:

At the start of the program, mentors go through a two-hour training that includes relationship basics such as active listening.

“The most important of this program is that relationship that’s built between the mentor and mentee, and students really need to know how to build that relationship,” Kroger said.

Mentors also complete QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training and receive instruction on setting boundaries so that mentors themselves don’t start to feel overburdened.

Lost&Found continues to actively recruit peer mentors and mentees statewide on post-secondary campuses where the program is delivered. To get involved or learn more about getting involved the program, community members are encouraged to contact Kroger (skroger@resilienttoday.org) for more information.

 

About Lost&Found

Lost&Found facilitates comprehensive, data-driven, resilience-focused, public mental health strategies for suicide prevention, serving young adults ages 15-34. We have 16 campus partners in South Dakota and Minnesota. Our work is based around three areas:

  • Student Programs: Delivering resilience programs for K-12 & college campuses, and training student advocates to lead and support the mental health of their peers.
  • Evaluation & Research Services: Applying public health expertise to assess and score campus or organization resource capacity across people, policies, & programs and provide outsourced evaluation services.
  • Education & Advocacy: Addressing community and organization mental health needs through community coalition and policy efforts, targeted digital public mental health content, and partnership development.

Lost&Found to share 30 stories of resilience as part of National Suicide Prevention Month

An honest, heartfelt story has the power to change hearts and minds. This September, Lost&Found is sharing 30 of them—an empowering, impactful story for each day of National Suicide Prevention Month.
30 Days promo - Joel Kaskinen

The first featured story of the 30 Days 30 Stories Project is from Joel Kaskinen. “My goal is to normalize the conversation around mental health and to be a man who is strong enough to share my story with others, knowing that it is painful, emotional and scary.”

The digital storytelling campaign, titled “This Is What Resilience Looks Like,” will tell the stories of 30 people who have faced and overcome adversity resulting from mental health challenges, including suicide ideation, risks, attempts, and loss.

As South Dakota and the surrounding region face continually rising suicide rates and new mental health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve asked individuals to share their stories of resilience to lend hope, opportunities for conversation, and resources to South Dakota communities.

As an organization focused on providing comprehensive suicide prevention resources for young adults 15-34 in South Dakota and the surrounding region, Lost&Found has two main goals for this campaign:

  • Increase awareness of mental health challenges all around us, as this can reduce the stigma of mental illness and seeking help.
  • Promote the resources that can help people through even the darkest of times. We especially want people to learn about and know how to access the statewide suicide prevention resources that young adults and families have found relevant to their experiences, identities, and communities.

A new story will be posted to 30stories.resilienttoday.org each day. We encourage sharing these stories on social platforms—you never know who might need to hear a story of resilience on a given day. Hashtags for this story series are #30Days30Stories and #ThisIsWhatResilienceLooksLike.

The campaign is being conducted in partnership with the South Dakota Humanities Council and Storyteller Co. of Sioux Falls.

[button link=”https://30stories.resilienttoday.org/” type=”big” color=”teal” newwindow=”yes”] Go to 30stories.resilienttoday.org[/button]

Building resilience, even from a distance.

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In a time of social distancing, when Lost&Found’s staff and chapter members are keeping to our own corners for a while to slow the spread of COVID-19, we’ve ramped up our social media efforts to keep serving young adults and our community at a time when mental health needs are as important as ever.

We’re providing content that’s relevant to this moment: 

  • #Resilience101: Through Instagram, we’re sharing daily tips and helpful ways to remain resilient amidst COVID-19 and every day. Following the American Psychological Association’s definition of “resilience,” we regularly share stories that capture what it means to be resilient today (that’s our handle!) in a variety of ways: physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and so on. Our favorites will be curated into weekly resilience tips sent to your email in the near future!
  • #CreateCommunity: We are working to create community wherever we may be, whether we are “lost,” “found,” or anywhere in the short distance between. Right now, our focus is on creating community in a world mostly operating online. We’re inviting engagement through our channels, helping people understand what online community means to them and creating opportunities to connect. These community opportunities are driven through our Instagram posts and stories, but also through Facebook live sessions hosted each week on our page with community mental health partners. If you want to access these sessions later, you can find the videos posted on Facebook and YouTube.
  • #Sources4Support: Social distancing doesn’t mean we’re all alone, even if we’re apart. We’re sharing resources to help with needs both related to mental health and otherwise. At a time when our mental health ecosystem partners are banding together to address the rising needs of community members and students around the country, we’re compiling information to create a “one-stop” location to ensure resources are immediately available and accessible to those who need them. These resources are made available through the link in our Instagram bio and soon to be shifted onto our website.
  • #SundayStories: These stories highlight what’s going on in the Lost&Found community. Yes, even in the midst of COVID-19, we have some good and exciting news to share! Keep tabs on our Instagram story on Sunday nights to hear the latest from our board, staff, and chapters, and we’ll also post the videos to Facebook and YouTube on Monday mornings. Start your week with Lost&Found! You won’t be disappointed.
  • #MindfulMinute: Lost&Found’s staff members are sharing their own experience navigating COVID-19 and finding ways to be mindful for a minute in these weekly messages. Every Wednesday morning, our team will share out a practice that helps us stay mindful (and motivated!) and go live for one minute on Instagram to share how we apply that practice in our lives. Videos will be posted to Facebook and YouTube by Wednesday afternoon. Our goal is to make mindfulness approachable and give followers a chance to see our team’s work in action. We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday mornings!

If you haven’t yet connected with Lost&Found on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and YouTube, now would be a great time to do so. If you find the content helpful, please comment and share it with someone in your life who may find it useful right now.

We’re building resilience, even from a distance. More importantly, we want to stay tuned into your needs as you navigate a world flipped upside down from COVID-19. If there is any way we can be helpful to you right now, do not hesitate to reach out to me or our staff. We are here to serve students as they have been displaced, but we recognize our responsibility to serve the greater community facing mental health challenges today and throughout the pandemic.

We are here for you when you need us.

Stay tuned for more updates to come, and we hope we’ll see you online. Thank you for your support and partnership with Lost&Found! It means the world right now.

In service,

Erik Muckey
CEO/Executive Director
Lost&Found

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