Grantee News

NAMI Southern Arizona Receives Planning Grant for Statewide School-Based Initiative

(Tucson, AZ—August 2, 2017) The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southern Arizona received funding from the David & Lura Lovell Foundation for a planning grant to advance a state-wide school-based mental illness stigma reduction initiative.

Fifty percent of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75% by age 24. NAMI Southern Arizona’s goal is to reach young people when they are first experiencing symptoms of mental illness with the message that mental illness is just like any other illness, they are not alone, and it’s okay to talk about it and get help.

“If we can get to children before they accept the stigma that has long been associated with mental illness, we can show them how to connect to those who can help them, reducing the average delay of 8-10 years between onset of symptoms and treatment,” said H. Clarke Romans, executive director of NAMI Southern Arizona. “Most importantly, we want young people to know that with help they can get better and have bright futures.”

The planning grant funding will enable NAMI Southern Arizona to engage leaders in education, behavioral and physical health, government, business, the judicial system and the faith community to discuss and develop a plan to address the inclusion of mental health education in all Arizona schools. NAMI has an effective stigma reduction program, Ending the Silence, for middle and high school students that is already being implemented in some schools through local affiliates of NAMI, and can be expanded to schools throughout the state.

“We believe in bringing people together to create systems change and address root causes of social issues,” said John Amoroso, executive director of the Lovell Foundation. “We are pleased to support NAMI SA and their partners as they work to eliminate stigma before it takes hold, making it possible for young people to get the help they need to improve their chances of success in school and beyond.”

The result of the planning grant will be an assessment and recommendations for the best course of action to pursue in providing effective school-based mental health education in Arizona.

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About NAMI Southern Arizona,
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Started by volunteers in 1983, the Southern Arizona affiliate was the fourth to be established nationally. NAMI Southern Arizona serves primarily Tucson and Pima County through education, advocacy and support at no cost to anyone affected by mental illness.

About the David and Lura Lovell Foundation
Over the past 23 years, the Lovell Foundation awarded more than $14 million in grants to nonprofits for specific projects. For more information, visit or call (520) 325-3656.

Social Venture Partners Tucson 2017 Fast Pitch Program

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Save the date for the 2017 Fast Pitch Event: Thursday, November 9, from 6:15-8:00 pm in the Leo Rich Theater.

ICS Care Partners Program

The attached article on the Care Partners Program was featured in the Interfaith Community Services Spring 2017 newsletter. [Download not found]

Tucson Fire Foundation

The following message was sent on April 21, 2017, to the Greater Tucson Firefighting community from Mike McKendrick, Chair of the Tucson Fire Foundation:

Dear Friends,

It’s been a challenging few weeks within our firefighting family. The loss of one of our own at his own hand – and the injury and death of two others also at his hand – evoked deep sorrow and pain for all involved.

But it also prompted many of us to wonder what we could have done to stop this tragedy. Was there a change in our friend’s behavior that we missed? Did we see something, but were afraid to say something? Are there Fire Foundation programs that could have helped him through his crisis?

And do we, as a firefighting family and community, make it “okay” for our brothers and sisters to seek help when they do need it without stigma?

The Tucson Fire Foundation offers what amounts to free counseling and support services for all firefighters, first responders, and their families. But we also understand that it’s not always easy to ask for help.

In light of the recent events, we are establishing a dedicated email, phone line, and online website access that will make it simpler for our members to confidentially access our support services at any time. We’ll update you shortly with the details.

Our hearts are with the members of the Scott and Bair families. They need to know we all stand with them and that we’re proactively working to help prevent tragedies such as this in the future.


Mike McKendrick,
Chair, Tucson Fire Foundation

Social Venture Partners Capacity Building Grant Applications

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Special Emmy Recognition for AZPM Original

The Rocky Mountain Southwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has presented the 2016 Board of Governors’ Award to the Arizona Public Media (AZPM) original project, Passing On.

The Rocky Mountain Southwest NATAS Governors’ Award is the highest award the chapter gives to an individual, organization or station. This award is given to a multi-platform project that extends beyond the parameters of the chapter’s regular television distinctions.

Passing On will be honored along with “Build A Bike” from Cox Communications at the regional Emmy® award gala in October.

“AZPM has been fortunate to be recognized by NATAS in the past, but this award is very special to us because it represents a collaborative, team project that involved many people in many departments and several community organizations,” said Jack Gibson, AZPM General Manager. “We’re very honored and proud to receive it.”

AZPM’s original documentary Passing On sheds light on a subject most people shy away from: end of life. In partnership with the Pima Council on Aging (PCOA), AZPM coordinated various outreach programs open to members of the southern Arizona community, including panel discussions and workshops, to share valuable information about planning for end of life. Major funding for Passing On was provided by The David and Lura Lovell Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Marshall Foundation.

The full film, information and resources are available at

Story by AZPM Staff

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation Buyers’ Club Now Online

Through generous support from the Lovell Foundation, SAAF has been able to bring its venture, the Travis Wright Memorial Buyers’ Club, to a whole new audience, as it moves online. The Buyers’ Club offers the general community high-quality vitamins, supplements, protein powders, and more at reduced rates. Started in 1988, the Buyers’ Club has offered nutraceuticals to SAAF clients and the general community, supplements that help bolster the immune system of people living with HIV and help address the numerous side effects.

Until December 2010, the Buyers’ Club was located in SAAF’s offices when Deb Van Sant and Greg Rogan, long-time donors and supporters of SAAF and owners of Cactus Drug, proposed a forward-thinking business plan that included the Buyers’ Club as part of their new pharmacy. Donating 250 square feet of floor space in their pharmacy, Deb and Greg doubled the size of the Buyers’ Club and expanded hours. Cactus Drug closed last month and the physical Buyers’ Club space moved back over to the SAAF offices, located at 375 South Euclid Avenue. We thank Deb & Greg for all they did to support the Buyers’ Club these past 6 years.

Seeing the success of moving the Buyers’ Club to a more high-profile, public location, in 2015, the Lovell Foundation made a grant to SAAF to further expand the Buyers’ Club and bring it online. The website, at, which launched on August 10, 2016, has been a dream for many years. SAAF Executive Director, Wendell Hicks, states, “By bringing the Buyers’ Club online, we are greatly expanding on the positive impacts the program has had for thousands of SAAF clients over the years. Now, it will be even easier for members of the community to take control of their health while supporting SAAF and saving a little bit of money, too.”

Membership in the Buyers’ Club is free and open to the general public. For more information about becoming a member, visit

Date: 8/10/2016
Contact: Wendell Hicks, Executive Director
Luis Ortega, Director of Programs (520) 547-6127

SAAF’s mission is to cultivate a healthy and stigma-free society through transformative action. For more information about the programs and services of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) or to schedule a tour of SAAF, please visit or call (520) 628-7223.