Last Tuesday evening, August 30th, IDA founder and president, Wayne Connell, was privileged to attend along with fellow IDA board member, Steve Tonkin, an event sponsored by the Second Wind Fund, Inc. at the downtown Denver Post building. Steve is a board member of the Second Wind Fund, Inc. as well.
So what is the Second Wind Fund? The mission of Second Wind Fund, Inc. is to decrease the incidence of teen suicide nationally by removing financial and social barriers to treatment for all at-risk youth and to create a network of local affiliates to provide such services in their own communities.
Scott Fletcher, Jeff Lamontagne, and Dr. Marjorie Laird founded SWF in 2002 in Lakewood, Colorado. In 2009 their flagship Affiliate, Second Wind Fund of Metro Denver (SWFMD), was formed to manage the local program in the six county Denver metro area. Second Wind Fund, Inc. manages the national program and the Affiliates.
While other suicide prevention organizations offer broad suicide prevention education and awareness, SWF offers actual treatment services to at-risk youth. It is essential that youth receive treatment immediately. SWF has built an innovative program to urgently match an at-risk youth, who may be displaying suicidal tendencies, with a therapist in their neighborhood. There is no red tape, no delays while insurance gets approved and complete anonymity. If the referred teen does not have insurance or the means to pay for the necessary mental health treatment, the care is paid for by SWF. When necessary, SWF clients have up to 20 sessions with a specialized, licensed therapist, as frequent as necessary until the teen’s suicidal thoughts have turned to life-long coping skills.
The Invisible Disabilities Association applauds the Second Wind Fund for being an organization that helps remove the shame and stigma regarding suicidal thoughts sometimes brought about by mental illness, depression and daily battles with other unseen chronic illnesses and pain by providing immediate, direct support. Part of IDA’s mission is to bring hope to teens living invisible disabilities and let them know they are not alone and that they can find additional help from organizations such as the Second Wind Fund, Inc.