Second Wind provides professional counseling services for youth 19 and under who are uninsured or underinsured and at-risk for suicide. Nearly 2,300 youth have been referred from approximately 400 schools and other agencies throughout Colorado. It is the only organization in the nation providing treatment services specifically for a clientele at-risk for suicide. Second Wind's provision of focused services means that youth referred through the program are seen within one week of a referral, can see their providers as often as they'd like and for 20 sessions — all for free. The Second Wind Fund currently serves approximately 50% of the area of Colorado and 80% of its youth population.
Second Wind works with licensed professional therapists who have significant experience working with youth at-risk for suicide. Typically, school mental health staff contact Second Wind and describe a situation in which a youth is struggling with suicidal thoughts but is impeded from receiving mental health services because of inadequate insurance or family finances. Second Wind then pays for 8–20 counseling sessions per youth.
Schools (and other selected agencies) in the Denver metro area, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Northeastern Colorado, Eagle County, Montrose, and Durango are eligible to refer students through this program.
Second Wind raises nearly 100% of its money privately. Much of its funding is raised through its annual fundraiser, a walk/run/ride held in Lakewood, Colorado each September. The September 2009 event was one of the largest suicide prevention events in the nation, with nearly 3,200 people in attendance. Second Wind is also reliant upon grants from a variety of Colorado Foundations.
Second Wind Fund has begun laying the groundwork to launch a national effort, with potential affiliates around the nation working on initiating Second Wind Fund programs in various communities.
- Draper, Electa (2007-10-09). "Giving a lifeline to suicidal teenagers". The Denver Post: Denver & the West (Denver: MediaNews Group). http://www.denverpost.com/ci_7122036. Retrieved 2009-03-22. "The Lakewood school's losses galvanized a community and led to the creation of the Second Wind Fund."
- Thornton, Susan (2007-11-01). "More news". The Denver Post (Denver: MediaNews Group). http://www.denverpost.com/ci_7332200. Retrieved 2009-03-22. "Sixty-six people attended that first event, raising $4,000 for what would be the start of the Second Wind Fund."
- Gallo, Bill (2007-09-24). "Fighting the tide of youth suicide". Rocky Mountain News (Denver: Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group). http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5705840,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-22. "Jeff Lamontagne, a former environmental lawyer who founded the Second Wind Fund in the wake of the Green Mountain suicides, says his group has provided free emergency counseling for more than 2,300 students from nearly 400 Colorado schools in the last seven years, and that the stigma may be waning as a result."[dead link]
- Francis, Jeff (2007-08-09). "Second Wind a saving grace". MileHighNews.com: Lakewood News (Jefferson County, Colorado: Mile High Newspapers). http://www.milehighnews.com/1editorialbody.lasso?-token.folder=2007-08-09&-token.story=199678.112112&-token.subpub. Retrieved 2009-03-22. "Created in the wake of a group of suicides at Green Mountain High School, Second Wind offers uninsured or underinsured teens considered at risk for suicide therapy through a statewide network of therapists."