The Josh Anderson Foundation
On March 18, 2009, Josh Anderson made the tragic decision to end his life. He was only seventeen. We created the foundation in his name in order to address the serious need for mental health awareness programs to prevent losing any more teens to suicide.
We believe that every teenager should feel they have the voice, support and resources to seek help for their mental health so that suicide is NEVER an option. It is our commitment to empower teens to feel they can reach out without fear of judgment or shame. We are working to prevent teen suicide through progressive programs, first on the local level in Fairfax County, VA, and then on a national scale in the future.
Please help us bring teen suicide into the light.
Teenagers need to understand that their mental and emotional wellbeing is just as important as academic, athletic or extra-curricular success.
Our youth today are faced with so many pressures – from feeling accepted by peers, doing well in all of their classes, performing on the athletic fields or in musical pursuits, and the everyday struggle of communicating with their parents.
In speaking with high school students, we have found that while resources may exist to help them cope with these pressures, they are neither well known nor are teens comfortable reaching out for help.
The results of the annual Fairfax County Youth Survey for 2014 indicated that 30% of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students in Fairfax County experienced symptoms of depression over the last year, while 17% considered suicide. These large numbers demonstrate the need for mental health programming in schools, which reduces stress and teaches students that it is okay to need help and that reaching out for help shows courage and strength.
Our focus is to bring effective programming to our very large school district, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Although primarily focused in FCPS, we have supported programs in neighboring Loudon County Public Schools and in the Patch American School in Stuttgart, Germany – and we are seeing a lot of success!
We are a small organization, consisting of a handful of regular volunteers and a board of directors, led by Executive Director Lauren Anderson. Everyone at the Josh Anderson Foundation is dedicated to making a difference in schools and the lives of students. In volunteering with the Josh Anderson Foundation, you will work closely with fellow volunteers and leaders and see the fruits of your efforts in the many community and school events and campaigns which we plan and implement. You will get to know that you are helping youths and their families by working to reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health and by taking steps to prevent suicide and promote mental wellness throughout Fairfax County schools.