Josh Anderson Foundation’s mission is to provide adolescents with mental health education, resources and support so they never turn to suicide.
The Josh Anderson Foundation (JAF) was founded in 2012 in Vienna, VA and is named after Josh Anderson who died by suicide in 2009 at the age of seventeen. JAF works toward the day when adolescents like Josh never turn to suicide. Suicide is often described as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Adolescents – whose part of the brain responsible for managing emotional and impulsive responses is still developing – need education, resources and support showing them that suicide is never the answer.
Since its incorporation in early 2012, JAF has provided such support through in-school speaker presentations and mental health awareness campaigns. JAF has also implemented community events with speakers sharing their personal experience with mental illness to a mixed audience of students and parents.
In early 2016, JAF realized the opportunity to further the scope of mental health promotion and deepen its impact on student’s mental wellness through the development of our minds matter (OMM). OMM is a student-led club model which equips students with the resources and tools to change their school culture around mental health.
In 2018, JAF was awarded funding through the Consolidated Community Funding Pool of the County of Fairfax, Virginia that significantly impacts its ability to demonstrate proof of concept through the hiring of a full-time Program Manager and contracting of evaluation support.