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live / 2021

Find Your Anchor - grassroots suicide prevention

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Find Your Anchor

Find Your Anchor (FYA) is a grassroots movement aimed at suicide prevention, awareness, and education. With creativity and a personal touch, FYA aims to support those who may be struggling and de-stigmatize conversations surrounding suicide and mental health. This funding would help us launch more FYA boxes to those struggling throughout Los Angeles - many at the lowest point in their lives. It is our goal to receive more messages like this: "I just wanted to let you know you saved a life today."


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

We are experiencing an epidemic of hopelessness. In 2019, we lost 48,344 people to suicide. There were a staggering 1.4 million attempts. Currently, there is a gap in how our society is addressing this. Our program is innovative because we fight the hopelessness in a tangible way. And we do that by reminding individuals that they are not alone. That there are strangers all over the world who care. COVID has only exacerbated these issues, bringing mental health to the forefront.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

At the heart of Find Your Anchor’s mission is a small blue box. Once referred to as a “mental health first aid kit,” each box is packed with good vibes and materials designed to inspire, soothe, and offer support. This includes a “52+ Reasons to Live” deck of cards, an infographic on depression, a list of resources, posters, stickers, a bracelet, and a letter. The boxes are intended to be organic in the sense that each person can add their own anchors and inspiration to the box before passing it along. This funding would help us launch more FYA boxes to those struggling throughout Los Angeles - many at the lowest point in their lives. $100,000 would reach 6,750 citizens. These box recipients cross all demographics, social classes, and age groups. This program will help us establish deeper roots in Los Angeles (we relocated from Chicago 2 years ago), ensuring that we reach more people who are struggling. The infusion of 6,000+ boxes into the county will help us to create long-lasting partnerships within the community that will extend far beyond this program. For those contemplating suicide, there is an overwhelming sense of loneliness and despair. We wanted something specifically for them. We want those in need to open the box and think “someone cared enough to make this for me” - providing, or sparking, within them a reason to fight.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

6,750
Direct impact
40,500
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

These testimonials are the definition of our success. - “I just wanted to let you know that you saved a life today.” (Student) - “I just wanted to let you know that I received one of your boxes from a dear friend of mine a few weeks ago. I thought about killing myself that day and when I got the box, I completely second guessed it. I’m now seeking help and getting the help I need. Thank you so much.” - “Yesterday, I opened my mailbox and found a package in there from you. From the deep, depths of my heart, I thank you. You’ve saved a life.” - “I lost my oldest son to mental illness that resulted in suicide. Thank you for this tangible way to spread the message about suicide and preventing others from going through what our family has.” (Mother) - “This is a great addition to my therapy groups. I work primarily with female survivors of military sexual trauma and see huge benefits in passing the box among the group.” (Social Worker)

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Since Find Your Anchor provides a physical product, we will track demand for our boxes. We will also focus on data that tells us where the most box requests come from, demographics of the box requesters, geographical data, etc. - but nothing compares to the impact of a testimonial. Throughout this project we will continue to measure success in the form of firsthand accounts of box recipients. However, we will also measure success by the number of school partnerships we create, recurring box subscriptions we receive, and workshops we give.

Which of the live metrics will you impact?​

  • Resilient communities
  • Mental illness
  • Access to mental health services

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT