From its start in 2006, the nonprofit has donated over $3.5 million directly into treatment and recovery so folks can access mental healthcare when they need it most.
By presenting hope and help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide, TWLOHA exists to remind people: The world is not better without you.
In fact, that’s the theme of this year’s Suicide Prevention Month campaign, which aims to raise $300,000 and make it possible to sponsor 4,000 counseling sessions and group therapy sessions.
“We've seen a 72% increase in the number of applications for our Treatment & Recovery Scholarship — funds to help people pay for the mental health care they need and deserve,” TWLOHA director of communications, Katie Mumper, told Good Good Good in an email.
“That increase means we have a waitlist of 80 people, and $62,000 will help us get those folks into therapy. The rest will allow us to help even more people. All together, the $300,000 we're hoping to raise equals 4,000+ hours of therapy.”
This will be done through the sale of apparel and other merch items, like a Suicide Prevention Pack, as well as online conversations under the hashtag #NotBetterWithoutYou. Folks can also simply donate to the organization during this campaign.
The organization will also share action steps and valuable resources throughout the month of September.
“Suicide prevention isn’t just crisis intervention. It isn’t reduced to knowing what to say or do in the last possible moment. It is prevention for a reason,” a press release from the organization states.
“It is everyday steps and conversations that can help us stop the thoughts and isolation before it goes too far… We all have a role we can play in carrying this truth: The world is not better without you.”
To TWLOHA, these mental health shirts are not just a new item in your closet. They represent an investment in community care, in vital services that reach people who need care most — and helps reduce TWLOHA’s lengthy waiting list.
Aside from the annual campaign, TWLOHA does important suicide prevention work year-round. Each month, the organization creates more than 9.5 million “moments of hope” through its online and social media presence for an audience spanning over 100 countries.
This leads to millions accessing mental health resources like crisis lines, support groups, and other local resources through the organization’s FIND HELP Tool.
Mumper said TWLOHA is also celebrating its Between the Bells program, which launched in 2019 and now reaches over 127,000 high school students in nearly 180 high schools across the U.S.
“We know that young people have been highly impacted by the Covid pandemic, so we’re grateful to provide resources to help schools support their students’ mental health,” she said. “We just launched resources for middle schoolers, and we’re looking forward to seeing how they can help create opportunities for important mental health conversations.”
Regardless of the specific program or initiative — of which TWLOHA has many — at the end of the day, the organization simply wants to change the conversation around, and ultimately eliminate, suicide.
“Suicide impacts every community on the planet. Globally, we lose 700,000 people to suicide each year, and it claimed more than 50,000 lives in the U.S. in 2022,” a press release from TWLOHA shares.
“The ripple effect of grief and confusion from these losses can be felt around the world. There is work to be done.”
This campaign, like all of TWLOHA’s work, wonders what would happen if we made a different ripple effect: one that reminds each person how valuable they are.
“We know that when someone is experiencing heavy thoughts, they can begin to believe that they are a burden to the people around them. Those thoughts can solidify into a belief that the world is better without them,” Mumper said.
“We want to speak directly to that moment and that thought, and remind them that it isn’t true. The truth is: We’re glad you’re here.”
We know that when you’re struggling with your mental health, it can be hard to find the help, support, and community you need.
If you are in immediate need of safety, please contact the following:
Emergency Medical Services
Crisis Text Line
Text CRISIS to 741-741
And if you are not in immediate crisis and would still like access to more resources, visit our list of Mental Health Resources for more information.
Header image courtesy of TWLOHA