Here Tomorrow has launched a “Match to Reimagine Suicide Prevention” campaign with the goal of raising $4 million to help expand access to mental health services in Northeast Florida over the next three years.
Both the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund and the J. Wayne Weaver Fund have pledged to match contributions up to $500,000 for a total of $1 million.
Likewise, Here Tomorrow founder Joe Kenney will also match donations up to $1 million. The multi-year challenge grant will run through December 31, 2024.
“Wayne and I are proud to support this new, grassroots effort,” Delores Barr Weaver said. “We are impressed that Here Tomorrow is using a collaborative model with peer supports. Cutting wait times and providing timely access is a tremendous service to the people they are serving. Clearly, the community need is great, and we hope many people will join in to make the campaign a success.”
Here Tomorrow is a nonprofit organization serving the Beaches communities and Northeast Florida with a mission to prevent suicide by building a community where mental healthcare is acceptable and accessible.
“We are beyond grateful to receive these grants from Wayne and Delores Weaver,” Kenney said. “We are tripling the size of our peer support team. We have reimagined suicide prevention, launched our service model, and seen unbelievable results over the past year.”
Founded in January 2021, Here Tomorrow uses a peer support model to offer same-day mental health support to those in crisis. Recovery peer specialists provide immediate support and systematic follow-up phone calls over the course of a year.
“Change is a process,” Here Tomorrow Executive Director Hannah Hackworth said. “People thinking about seeking professional help and those who love them need support, answers to their questions, and someone to listen who truly understands.”
Hackworth and Kenney developed the core service model in consultation with international suicide prevention expert, Paul Quinnett.
Currently, Here Tomorrow is serving 529 community members: 460 “friends” (people experiencing hopelessness) and 69 family members (people worried about the safety of a loved one).
“The CDC tells us suicide is the most preventable form of death,” Hackworth said. “We are filling a critical gap in the existing system of care by providing real help to people at-risk for suicide and their families through same-day peer mental health support and timely access to outpatient mental health care.”
Kenney’s connection to Here Tomorrow stems from personal loss. In April 2019, his son Gary, 30, died by suicide.
Prior to his son’s death, Kenney did everything he could to help Gary who was battling severe depression. When they needed help the most, Kenny found a healthcare system that was not equipped to advise him or help him keep Gary safe.
"I couldn't find any help here; I didn't know where to go or what to do––and I know everybody," Kenney said. “When we opened our doors, I thought, if Here Tomorrow can ensure that one son, one father, one brother, or one sister is here with us tomorrow, it will all be worth it,” Kenney says. “We are now talking daily with people who are seriously contemplating suicide and offering real help when the stakes could not be higher.”
If you or someone you love is experiencing hopelessness and contemplating seeking help, contact Here Tomorrow by calling 904-372-9087 or emailing email@example.com. There is no cost for the support and follow-up services provided by Here Tomorrow.
For more information and resources or to donate, go to heretomorrow.org.