We fund organizations and projects which disrupt our current behavioral health space and create impact at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
Our participatory funds alter traditional grantmaking by shifting power
to impacted communities to direct resources and make funding decisions.
We build public and private partnerships to administer grant dollars toward targeted programs.
We provide funds at below-market interest rates that can be particularly useful to start, grow, or sustain a program, or when results cannot be achieved with grant dollars alone.
Other options to get involved
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Contact Alyson about grantmaking, program related investments, and the paper series.
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Contact Samantha about program planning and evaluation consulting services.
Contact Caitlin about the Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness, the Annual Innovation Award, and trauma-informed programming.
Contact Joe about partnership opportunities, thought leadership, and the Foundation’s property.
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Please Live’s Student/Teen Outreach for Mental (Illness) Prevention (S.T.O.M.P.) program is an innovative collaborative program to educate middle and high schools about mental health and suicide prevention. S.T.O.M.P. is a collaboration between Please Live and The Mental Wellness Awareness Association (MWAA) that focuses efforts toward mental health awareness and suicide prevention using a three-stage approach tailored to individual school districts. First, the MWAA provides training for teachers and staff members on how to identify and refer at-risk students. This training uses the internationally-recognized, evidence-based training program Youth Mental Health First Aid to meet Pennsylvania Act 71 training requirements. Second, Please Live teaches students how to identify signs of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts in themselves and their friends. Finally, Please Live and The MWAA coordinate a health fair to promote the variety of mental health and behavioral services available in the community, without focus on specific agencies or treatments. This health fair is open to the public, which brings parents and community members into the conversation. No other program comprehensively addresses all three of these areas for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Our program provides valuable education to teachers and students, and generates visibility and referrals to community agencies.
S.T.O.M.P. is a comprehensive three-part program that is not modeled after another organization’s efforts and therefore is unique. We utilize evidence-based training programs, such as Mental Health First Aid, to educate teachers and staff. However, no other program seeks to combine these evidence-based practices with student education and community services promotion, which makes our program tailored to comprehensively address mental health and suicide prevention. First, teacher training allows teachers and staff members, who are often the first to notice behavioral changes, to be the front-line defense in their classrooms and build confidence to approach students about concerns. Second, student education encourages peer advocacy and gives students step-by-step ways to intervene in a potential suicidal crisis. Finally, the health fair allows community agencies to inject hope into the school system and get parents and families involved in this important conversation. This comprehensively addresses every area of need within a school district.
The S.T.O.M.P. program provides leadership and the possibility for replication for other causes in the community. Both Please Live and MWAA rely heavily on community involvement and partnership to implement the program, especially for the community health fair. Our connections with local help agencies encourage further collaboration between the agencies and increased knowledge of other programs and help resources among the school district and student families. Furthermore, the MWAA is considered a leader in Mental Health First Aid trainings across the state of Pennsylvania, which attracts partnerships with schools and similar mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Our leadership disseminates information about our program through various mediums, including social media, print resources, professional connections, and email programs, in addition to these collaborations. Through our collaboration on S.T.O.M.P., we are continuously growing our mental and behavioral health network and encouraging more help agencies to benefit from our program.
Our partnership between Please Live and the Mental Wellness Awareness Association is mutually beneficial. Please Live successfully opened the door for the MWAA to provide their training into school districts, and the MWAA’s state-wide contacts have brought Please Live to locations we were previously unable to reach. Additionally, the MWAA has a national audience through the American Mental Wellness Association that will continue to expand the S.T.O.M.P. program throughout the nation. We developed a successful plan of utilizing local and community grants to fund S.T.O.M.P. in school districts, which means that our program has no direct cost to school districts. We have developed relationships with grant-makers, like the The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, to be able to expand and tailor this program to new school districts and communities. Please Live applied for capacity-building grants to enhance our fundraising efforts that cover the costs of this program for schools.
Our comprehensive, three-stage approach to mental health education and suicide prevention could serve as a model to other organizations who seek to impact youth. Many organizations focus on student education presentations, but we found that it has been more effective for S.T.O.M.P. to also focus on teachers and school staff, who serve as the front lines for addressing concerns about students. This provides school staff with similar vocabularies to what students learn during Please Live’s presentations, and these shared vocabularies foster common conversations between students and staff. Furthermore, by involving communities and partnering with local agencies for the health fair, we have developed a community-focused, comprehensive approach to address youth mental health and suicide prevention. Organizations who seek to use S.T.O.M.P. as a model should seek to find ways to integrate teachers, students, and the broader community to comprehensively address a social problem using our three-stage approach as a model.
The results of our innovative and comprehensive approach demonstrate its effectiveness, and we have received praises from school districts. Our program shows direct results for students, who demonstrate, on average, 19% increases in knowledge and 17% decreases in stigmatic beliefs regarding mental health and suicide measured by pre- and post-tests. Furthermore, educators rated an average 4.2/5 on a scall of confidence reaching out to youth who may be dealing with mental health challenges after YMHFA. Overall, as Doris Baboian, the Director of Student Services at Cumberland Valley School District, writes, “As a district we understand it is not only our responsibility to recognize the academic needs of our students, but their social and emotional needs as well. [With S.T.O.M.P. …] we have the opportunity to educate school staff, students, and families. Please Live serves the community and has a significant impact in mental health education as well as suicide prevention.”