SWFMD began as a church picnic fundraiser in response to four youth suicides in their community. Now, 10 years later, the SWFMD 5K Music Festival is the largest suicide prevention event in the nation. The funds raised provide free, professional counseling to youth at risk for suicide. Their mission is to decrease the incidence of youth suicide by removing financial and social barriers for at-risk youth. Since 2002, they have made 2,300 referrals from 300 schools in the Denver area.
The SWFMD explains that suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens and that in surveying suicidal individuals, a high proportion are concerned about the cost of treatment. Among those surveyed who have considered suicide, 62% stated that the expense of treatment was a factor in why they did not seek help. The SWFMD provides at least eight FREE sessions to each youth referred to the program, when on average, it takes less than five therapy sessions to move most youth away from considering suicide as a viable option.
Our family is aiming to raise $1,000 to help support the efforts of SWFMD. You can learn more about the organization and this annual event on their website at SWFMD.org. If you would like to help support this cause and our family fundraising goal, please visit the page for The Ben Team. Any donations would be very much appreciated, by our family and by the families who will hopefully never have to face losing a precious life to suicide.