The family and friends of Lawrence Hundley Dimmitt IV wanted to take action after his death by suicide in 2017 at 32. They created Love IV Lawrence Foundation, which works to overcome the stigma surrounding depression and suicide and promotes an open dialogue about mental health.
Lawrence was a compassionate and magnetic connector who enjoyed bringing people together for any and all reasons. Yet he struggled silently with depression. Love IV Lawrence is their way to connect people resources to help them and their loved ones.
Love IV Lawrence makes grants, starts open conversations and hosts outreach events to inspire hope, foster acceptance, and save lives. Lawrence’s family and friends are working through and beside the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to fund nonprofit organizations that are working to make positive changes around mental health, including research, direct action, and intervention. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay also has made mental well-being a key focus of its competitive grantmaking.
Love IV Lawrence hosted its first event, “Reeling in Stigma,” in partnership with Mountainfilm on Tour, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the University of South Florida in October 2019. “Reeling in Stigma” featured a night of conversation, education and film about mental health in our community.
Love IV Lawrence’s two-part event combined crowdsourced grantmaking and a film festival, and it was a success. During the VIP cocktail party, guests were asked to select their favorite pitch from five nonprofits with opportunities to address mental health.
Making a difference
Nonprofit organization To Write Love On Her Arms received the most guest votes, and it won Love IV Lawrence’s $10,000 Waves of Change grand prize. To Write Love On Her Arms will use the funds for its “Between the Bells” program to spark mental health conversations among high school students.
The other four participating organizations received $5,000 for participating. Nonprofit participants included:
- Rogers Behavioral Health, which is a provider of evidence-based treatment for depression and other mood disorders, eating disorders, addiction, obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
- Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, which provides help, hope and healing to people facing serious life challenges.
- Warrior 2 Warrior, which provides veterans with physical rehabilitation, peer-to-peer mentorship, and individualized services.
- Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation Speak Up 5K, which works to cultivate awareness and understanding of teenage depression and anxiety.
“Reeling in Stigma” also included a film screening from Mountainfilm on Tour, which included a variety of documentary short films curated from the annual festival in Telluride, Colorado. One featured film, Akuna, documents Will “Akuna” Robinson’s journey to healing and hiking after experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following his service in the U.S. Army during the Iraq War in 2003.
Nearly 400 people attended “Reeling in Stigma.” They are an active part of changing the conversation around depression and suicide.