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This nonprofit’s blue boxes bring human connection to the mental health conversation – Press Telegram


Find Your Anchor is a Long Beach-based nonprofit organization and grassroots movement aimed at suicide prevention, awareness, and education. Since its launch in 2018, Ali and Find Your Anchor have built and distributed 75,000 signature Find Your Anchor blue boxes. Each box includes items such as a 52+ Reasons to Live deck of cards, an infographic on depression, a list of resources, a letter from a stranger who cares, posters, a bracelet, a mixtape full of uplifting music, stickers, some other sweet nothings, and a whole lot of good vibes. (Photo courtesy of Find Your Anchor)

One Long Beach nonprofit,  Find Your Anchor, is working to help folks across the country dealing with mental health issues by offering positive affirmations, resources — and most importantly — human connection.

Initially established in Chicago in 2018, Find Your Anchor and its founder Ali Borowsky, moved to Long Beach in 2019 to bring the nonprofit’s offerings to Southern California and serve local schools, organizations, and communities.

Borowsky, who has long dealt with her own mental health issues, had struggled to find comfort in the myriad resources available aimed at preventing suicide and helping folks manage their conditions.

Borowsky, she said, was in search of an anchor — or, as she put it, a dependable beacon of positivity that she could rely on amid life’s roughest storms.

That’s why she decided to launch For Your Anchor, a grassroots organization dedicated to distributing blue boxes containing handwritten letters, resources and other tidbits of positivity, according to the organization’s website.

“We’re really just trying to infuse the mental health world with more creativity,” Borowsky said, “and (put) humanity back into what I always thought was kind of a cold, sterile, corporate hospital system.”

The blue boxes, Borowsky said, contain myriad crisis resources — including a card set of over 52 reasons to live, mixtapes with links to Spotify playlists of over 10 hours of music, infographics on depression, handwritten love letters, posters, bracelets and more.

“When you open the lid, it says ‘if you’re feeling lost, hopeless, suicidal, this is for you. If not leave it for someone else in need’,” Borowsky said, “and we’ve heard from people who found boxes this way that it’s almost (feels) like a divine intervention — just finding it when they least expect it.”

Borowsky also emphasized that the bottom of the box features a pay-it-forward piece that encourages box-holders to add to the box and pass it on.

“We’re all about these seemingly small things,” Borowsky said, “the small acts of kindness from someone you may never meet, but can really have a profound impact.”

For Your Anchor has quickly grown, according to the organization, with about 75,000 blue boxes built and distributed across the country over the past six years.

The blue boxes can be individually requested, but they’re also distributed in public spaces like coffee shops and libraries in hopes they’ll be found by people who need them, the organization’s website said.

Since their launch, Find Your Anchor reported their blue boxes have reached 43 countries, 77 colleges, 726 high schools and have partnered with various sports, music, and cultural organizations such as the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and more.

Borowsky added that the blue boxes also act as a catalyst for conversations aimed at destigmatizing discussions of mental health, suicide prevention, and awareness about resources to help folks in need.

In this current digital world, Borowsky said, we all benefit from having something to hold onto — both literally and figuratively.

“(We) really want to deepen our roots in Long Beach and connect with more organizations, more people, more schools,” Borowsky said, “ and (help) elevate and support our neighbors. We’re going to be here for a long time and (we) will always be a resource to our community.”

For more information about Find Your Anchor and its resources, visit their website findyouranchor.us. To request a box, visit findyouranchor.us/Boxes.

The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline can be reached by at 988 and is serviced 24/7, free confidential support for people in distress, prevention and other crisis resources. For more information on mental health and suicide prevention, visit longbeach.gov/health/healthy-living/individual/mental-health/.



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