Social impact can be defined as the net effect of an activity on a community and individuals and families’ well-being. Social impact means caring about what’s happening around you: does someone need help? Is your friend in need of something? What can you contribute to your community? We all have the power to make enormous changes when committed, and significant changes start from within.
We have partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to work side-by-side and increase awareness in the sports industry about the importance of athletes’ mental health. Did you know that, on average, there are 132 suicides per day? As an organization, we desired to take action, plan something, and then make it happen.
By joining forces with Team Innerforce 2021 we knew the message would have a wider reach. We want to positively influence our community of athletes and encourage each one of them to take care of themselves.
ENCOURAGING OUR TEAM
During the Team Innerforce 2021 application process, we asked each applicant if they would be committed to organizing a year-long fundraising event for a specific foundation. We obtained so much feedback from athletes!
After researching, we ended up with three main foundations to consider. We made our team choose the cause and the winner was the AFSP, suggested by Jennifer Chadwick. We contacted them and set up a plan for 2021. “Over the past couple of years, there have even been pro triathletes and cyclists who pull off the circuit to reframe their mental state,” says Jenn.
Being an athlete means preparing yourself mentally and physically. Sometimes, there’s this stigma around mental health and sports that cannot be denied. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every 40 seconds a person around the world takes her or his own life. “Having a mentor, captain, teammate or even a coach that knows your struggle is key so that they can help pull you from the depths and get you back on your feet if you just don't have it in you. Cycling saved my life. Being part of a team keeps me going.” states Jennifer. She firmly believes that we all need more information about mental health in order to know the symptoms and how to help others.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The aim is to educate and increase awareness about the importance of athletes’ mental health. We are more than just a training session; a lot is going on in our personal lives as we train. It’s vital that anyone who needs to access mental health information is not frightened or intimidated by it.
We are planning different webinars and informational activities but also we are running a year-long fundraising with the Team. Each team member will raise a minimum of $1,000 each for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. That funding will go toward increasing awareness and helping those in need regarding mental health and suicide prevention.
We believe in the power of sports’ to change the world.
DO YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE?
Please visit our Donors AFSP Webpage to donate. You can also fundraise, making a difference by turning your activities into campaigns to help raise awareness and funds for our cause: throwing a dinner party or having a board game night; why not organize a kermesse – the possibilities for giving are endless.
ABOUT THE AFSP
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education, and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death. Their mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.
AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health by engaging in the following core strategies:
1. Funding scientific research.
2. Educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention.
3. Advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention.
4. Supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide in their mission.
If you have any questions, please contact Marina Carvalho (Marketing & Communication Assistant at Innerforce), firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Innerforce at www.innerforce.com and our social networks, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn