SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two Sioux Falls based suicide prevention networks are merging their resources.
Survivors Joining for Hope, a nonprofit that provides financial support to families that have suffered a suicide loss, will be merging with Lost&Found, a comprehensive suicide prevention organization based in Sioux Falls, which serves communities throughout South Dakota and Minnesota.
Survivors Joining for Hope will cease independent operation on August 1, 2022, but will continue on as a program division within the Lost&Found network, said Erik Muckey, the group’s CEO and Executive Director.
“Survivors Joining for Hope voted to dissolve as an entity, and they will transfer all of their assets and programs and branding to Lost&Found,” Muckey explained in an interview with KELOLAND News.
Muckey says the continuity of the Survivors Joining for Hope brand is important for those who are relying on its services, and also as way to pay homage to the years of effort put in by its founder, Brad Hearst, as well as its other volunteer board members.
The transition of Survivors Joining for Hope into Lost&Found is expected to be fairly smooth, says Muckey.
“You really won’t see a significant change in services,” he said. “Particularly, the financial assistance program will be live effective August 1st.”
Survivors Joining for Hope has been serving the Sioux Falls community for around six year. Much of that service revolved around financial support.
“Their services included support of suicide loss survivors, so people who have lost a loved one to suicide,” said Muckey. “The primary form of support for that was a financial assistance program that provided a certain amount of funds to individuals and families impacted by suicide loss, supporting anything from burial assistance to grief counseling to other services that may come along with the loss of say a primary breadwinner.”
All together, Muckey says that the merger will allow Lost&Found to expand their services to a wider age range of people, and to enter further into the area of post-vention, the process of offering support to someone who has experienced a suicide attempt or a loss.
In Muckey’s words this merger “creates an opportunity for two teams that have long known each other, long worked together, long partnered on various programs, to really expand their footprint.”