Please consider making a donation today to support The Sophie Fund’s work on mental health initiatives aiding young people. Sophie would have turned 26 this week, and we are marking the anniversary to launch our 2018 fundraising campaign.
Special goals for the coming year include publishing a Guidebook to College Student Mental Health, written by and for students; supporting mental health initiatives for secondary school students; fighting sexual violence; and expanding our website and social media content.
We are proud to report significant progress in our projects over the past year to benefit mental health in the Ithaca community and on the Cornell University and Ithaca College campuses. A few examples:
- Zero Suicide Model: Less than a year after The Sophie Fund launched its Zero Suicide initiative, the Tompkins County Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Tompkins County Legislature adopted the Zero Suicide Model for local healthcare. Seven leading healthcare providers also stepped up to become Zero Suicide Champions, including Tompkins County Mental Health Services, Cayuga Medical Center, Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca, and Cornell Health. New York State officials commended The Sophie Fund’s “leadership and commitment” in suicide prevention efforts.
- Mental Health First Aid: We sponsored training conducted by the Mental Health Association for managers, chefs, servers, bartenders, baristas, and others in Ithaca’s high-stress hospitality sector. One of the trainees emailed us afterwards: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to walk out of the training today with a tool belt filled with the ability to help recognize and provide aid to mental health issues of all sorts!”
- “Mental Health Weekend” at Cornell University: We collaborated with the student advocacy organization Cornell Minds Matter to fight stigma around mental health, and sponsored a screening of The S Word, a documentary film about suicide, for the local and campus communities. “We are deeply grateful and humbled by your support,” wrote CMM President Cooper Walter.
- College Student Leave of Absence: The Sophie Fund teamed up with Family & Children’s Service to explore a project to support local college students considering or taking a leave of absence due to mental health struggles.
For more information on The Sophie Fund’s work, please visit: