March 24, 2016

This Partnership Was Meant To Be

You probably don’t realize this, but our counseling program was meant to be. Plain and simple.

Almost 4 years ago, before anyone had even heard of Speak Your Silence, I had a meeting set up with a gal – whom I’d never met – named Sarah Woodley, then President of a company called BPA Health (she’s now their CEO).

I’d originally reached out for advice on something totally different, which ended up falling through the day prior to our meeting. But, for the sake of making a new friend, I decided to just keep the meeting… and hope I didn’t waste her time.

I’m so glad I kept that meeting.

I liked Sarah from the get-go, so that helped a lot. She’s just the coolest person and she has a huge heart – so I could immediately tell that she cared about Speak Your Silence’s mission.

But, as she told me about BPA and what they do (and had done for roughly 40 years), in the worlds of employee assistance program (EAP) and behavioral health, the wheels in my head began to turn.

Essentially, it came down to this: BPA has this nationwide network of counselors who they refer their clients to through their employee benefits packages. They had the infrastructure and processes and everything… and they connect people with professional counselors.

Remember, my counselor, Swede, had just changed my life – so I recognized how valuable this was.

I’m sure I made Sarah a bit nervous – and, now looking back, I was probably a little quick on the trigger. But, during our meeting I said, “Soooo… hypothetically speaking… we could potentially work with you to offer people counseling anywhere in the US.”

Sarah was cautious in responding, but said, “Yeeeaaahhhh… hypothetically… that would be possible.”

And, there you have it.

I love this story because I left BPA’s office that day knowing – not thinking – but knowing that I’d just (accidentally) had one of the best and most important meetings I’d ever have in Speak Your Silence’s history.

It was simply meant to be. Within a few months, Sarah officially agreed to BPA Health partnering with Speak Your Silence for the long haul, offering in-person, one-on-one counseling nationwide for those directly affected by child sexual abuse.

What I’d envisioned that day is exactly what our counseling program is now. It’s available to anyone anywhere in the US, regardless of financial means. (If interested, you can apply here.)

I’ll share more about the nitty gritty of the actual program and how it functions soon. But, what I can tell you is that we have a total of 10 amazing people on BPA’s staff who make our whole program work. They’re really incredible people and they love working on Speak Your Silence counseling grants. I just love them to pieces.

So, I mean it when I say that Speak Your Silence’s partnership with BPA Health was simply meant to be. I couldn’t have chosen a better company to be partnered with.

Pretty awesome. And it’s been a big blessing to many people, having provided counseling grants to 125+ individuals in at least 30 states. So far.  🙂

More to come!

-Matt

100% of profits from The Stitch fund this program.  You can shop The Stitch here.

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