Blog - Impactful Fund

Remembering Tina Helsell's Profound Impact on Mental Health

As the year ends and I reflect on our journey as a foundation, I think about Tina Helsell, my brilliant friend and our former Executive Director. She came aboard to steer us into the world of mental health and taught us about fundraising and partnerships. She was clear on the mission; at the time, I was still wrapping my head around. She pushed me out of my comfort zone. The fierce determination and urgency she brought to the role made sense after I got the fateful call and learned of her passing by suicide on New Year’s Day in 2014. It was devastating news. 

Remembering Tina Helsell: 

Ingrid Helsell Jarvis, Tina’s younger sister, wrote a book entitled Losing Tina, a rich and honest recounting of a life cut short. I can only imagine how cathartic it must have been for Ingrid to be so vulnerable sharing the story of two sisters and best friends.


I learned more about the insidious, slow, growing toll mental health challenges can take on so many and the effect on those closest to them. It might have been a different outcome if our society had been better equipped. You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

The memoir follows the lives of Tina and Ingrid from childhood through Tina's death by suicide at the age of 51. It explores the history of depression, starting with their maternal grandparents and their mother's struggles with bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol abuse. Threaded throughout the book is the reality that Tina was a remarkable human being until life circumstances and severe depression robbed her of joy, talents, and the will to live. 

Since Tina’s passing, we have supported content creation, year-long programs, and impact reporting tools and fostered a community of compassionate experts, educators, students, and families. I am proud, and I know Tina would be too, of the generosity of our donors, the hard work of our board, and the countless volunteers who have kindly shown up to help us fulfill our mission

Tina's Legacy Through The CCT: 

The impact Tina’s life and death have had on our work has changed the trajectory of our mission to include stories about equality, women’s issues, and mental health education in schools to support students, educators, and families. She was the original spark that ignited the creation of The Creative Coping Toolkit (CCT), a film and evidence-based mental health literacy program that addresses anxiety, loneliness, social media addiction, and bullying to foster resilience and belonging

It has been free to all K-12 public schools in California for 3 years, and we recently launched free access in Washington, Alaska, and Illinois. The data shows that the toolkit is a safe, effective, and popular tool. 7,000 school campuses now use the program. Educating through stories is powerful. 

We also support Many Messiahs, a social-impact organization working to promote, inspire, and include youth from marginalized communities in the world of classical music. Our work with film director Sarah Moshman, whose latest short films address the challenges of early motherhood and the story about the first mother in space, both have won numerous awards nationwide. 

What's Next? 

For the future of The Creative Coping Toolkit, we are working to add new programs addressing financial literacy, sleep, movement, stress and mindfulness, and women’s health. 

Additionally, we are thrilled to announce and welcome Anne Garrett, our new Executive Director. Anne is a filmmaker, author, fundraiser, and social impact advocate with more than 25 years of experience in philanthropy. Her past work with organizations such as The Alaska Community Fund and Microsoft Alumni Foundation has come aboard to lead us in 2024. 

We also welcome new board member Amy Cooper, who is experienced in public affairs, communications, and leadership development. We will continue growing our board and partnering with local and national organizations to make The Creative Coping Toolkit free in every classroom nationwide. 

In the meantime, we look forward to sharing updates, impact data, stories of resilience, and invites to community events. We welcome ideas on topics you think should be addressed and offers of support, whether it be partnerships, introductions, donations, or events. 

This is a community, and you are part of it. We are grateful and appreciate you. Together, we can help save lives, ease struggles, and let people know they matter and belong. 

Thank you for reading this far. Please click here for more information to make an end-of-year donation.

We wish you a healthy and prosperous new year. 



Founder of Impactful Fund

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