Over the past several months, I’ve given considerable thought to what quiz bowl has done for me in the nearly 20 years (!) I’ve been involved with it in some fashion. I’ve reflected a lot on the community this game has fostered, the support it has given me and others, and what I can do to best give back. As a person who has suffered from depression and bipolar disorder, I’ve thought about how quiz bowl has gotten me through so many difficult times, in high school and as an adult. These issues are ever-present in this community, and the opportunity exists to do more to help kids and young adults who struggled in the same way I did.
With that in mind, I’m proud to announce the formation of the Bounceback Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting positive mental health in the quiz bowl community and raising money for causes that promote mental health support and awareness for young people. Among its non-fundraising goals are to provide handouts and other materials for players and teams that provide information on professional mental health resources and how to recognize the signs of a possible crisis. The foundation also seeks to promote a positive and safe environment in all quiz bowl-related activities, from team practices to national tournaments, and to end the stigma that surrounds talking about mental illness.
The site is a bit bare at the moment, but it will be updated in the coming days and weeks with links and resources for players, coaches and others.
The Bounceback Foundation is (pending document approval) a 501c3 non-profit organization, for which donations are entirely tax deductible. Funds to the foundation, at the time of this announcement, are designated to be given to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Trevor Project. The foundation’s board will regularly meet to discuss possible changes to the recipients of these funds and other matters concerning the regular operations of the foundation.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I want all quiz bowl players at all levels to know – please know that you are valuable and important, and that if you are struggling you are not alone. If you or a loved one is in need of help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Director, the Bounceback Foundation