Lost & Found Brings a Welcoming Environment of Support for Mental Health

by Brooke Norgaard

Take a deep breath, Lost & Found is here to help. University of Sioux Falls’ chapter of the Lost & Found is here to raise awareness about mental health and to nurture you on your journey with yours.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Lost & Found is an organization that was originally founded 10 years ago by students from the University of South Dakota that saw a need for a focus on mental health, specifically on college campuses. The organization has now expanded to multiple campuses around South Dakota, from South Dakota State University to Augustana along with others including USF’s own chapter. Lost & Found’s USF chapter president Hannah DeHoogh-Kliewer shared her thoughts on how each chapter has played their part in helping students build resilience in their mental health journeys. “Each chapter has cultivated a safe environment where mental health is discussed in an open and honest manner. This has certainly helped open doors to conversations that were talked about less frequently in years past. We look forward to continue growing a supportive environment while addressing mental health on USF’s campus,” said DeHoogh-Kliewer.

The focal point of the group is to create a safe space for students to discuss mental health. Dr. Brooke Murphy, Assistant Professor of Education and advisor for USF’s Lost & Found chapter, shared that the mission of the group is to “…eliminate suicide by equipping college students with resiliency skills to care for their mental health and navigate their unique life journey.” Through events, meetings, and social media, Lost & Found utilizes many resources to provide students with skills to help with their mental wellbeing. Student Amanda Hamil who is a part of the group said, “With everything changing so abruptly, it is important to have a solid base. Lost & Found helps students to gain resilience and work through the challenges they are facing. It also provides a community of students that others can lean on if they need help or support.”

Although the global pandemic may have stopped the group from monthly in-person meetings, it has not stopped the group from doing all they can to create change and be there for USF students. “We have been focusing on providing safe programming through passive and virtual events,” said DeHoogh-Kliewer. USF’s chapter is continuing to grow and would like your support. Although you do not need to be a group member to attend the group’s events, Lost & Found always appreciates students who are wanting to make a difference in de-stigmatizing mental health conversations on campus. When Hamil was asked about why she joined the group, she said “I joined Lost & Found to help reduce the stigma behind mental health and to improve my own resilience in difficult situations. I wanted to be a resource for other students, as well as be an ear to listen.” You can also make a difference by joining and getting to make decisions about upcoming events.

If you are interested in participating in the group, contact chapter president Hannah DeHoogh-Kliewer via email at hannah.dk@usiouxfalls.edu. If you are interested in learning more about upcoming events or want some little supportive reminders to focus on your mental health, follow Lost & Found on Instagram by visiting the handle @wearehereusf.

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