Dear Friends of SPS,
Family newsletters are pretty common during the holiday season. Because we at SPS often refer to ourselves as a family, I’m using this letter as an opportunity to let you know what the SPS family has been doing. Some folks say they don’t like holiday newsletters, but I hope you will feel differently about this one because we consider you to be part of our family and your support allows us to do the work we do.
For years, we have provided counseling to adults. During 2018 our family grew to include adolescents and preadolescent children. I can tell you from personal experience that suicide of a child’s loved one can cause issues for decades and generations. Frighteningly, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide completions by children are increasingly common in our area. Counseling children and adolescents requires special training and supplies as well as the time of our busy staff. Often, families who most need our services are those who are least able to pay for them. Your contributions have allowed us to add kids to our family.
We have worked to bring the other end of the generation spectrum into our family as well. The suicide rate among those 65 and over is much higher than the rate for those under 65. Elderly suicidal individuals are difficult to reach because isolation often accompanies mental health issues among the elderly. We are partnering with other agencies serving the elderly to identify people who may need our help. Seniors who are being discharged from nursing and rehabilitation facilities are particularly at risk.
We are piloting a program in which we work with such facilities to identify people at risk for suicide. We then offer an assessment and follow-up visits to those identified. Medicare does not pay for this. The nursing and rehabilitation facilities will not pay for this. Usually, the clients don’t have the resources to pay. Because of our supporters we have been able to do this on a pilot project basis. With your continuing support we may be able to add more elderly people to our family.
There’s one more addition to our family. It’s an administrative assistant! That’s right, for the first time in years we have added to our staff. Julie, our new part-time admin assistant, is taking some of the day-to-day office workload from our professional staff to allow them to do the things only they can do. Adding to staff is always a bit of a leap of faith. We know that there is plenty of work for everyone. But the most vital work doesn’t often come with additional revenue, so we will be working to increase funding through grants, fundraisers, and our major annual events. You have received this letter because you and yours are important members of our family. Whatever your role, thank you for your involvement. Please continue to help us by completing the information below and returning the entire form to us with your gift. If you would like us to light a luminaria for your loved one on December 24, please provide their name below.
And if there is any way we can help you or your family, we are here just as we have been for the last 20 years. Please do not hesitate. Thank you so much.
President-Board of Directors