Home 2019-02-26T20:16:23+00:00


The mission of The Imogen Foundation is to save lives by connecting teenagers to each other and letting them know that they matter. Imogen’s presence was essential because she listened to her friends and put other people’s feelings in front of her own. The Imogen Foundation will focus on empowering teens by developing the skills to support one another in times of crisis and change.


When Imogen Roche passed away suddenly at 15 years of age, hundreds of teenagers mourned her passing, not only because she was taken from us too soon, but because her presence in their lives was an essential one. She was the compassionate ear truly listening on the other end of the phone. She was the empathetic friend who reached out to peers in need. She put other people’s feelings in front of her own. And she would risk her life to protect the people she loved.

Although Imogen struggled in her lifetime with anxiety and depression, she hated the idea of traditional therapy. She used to say about going to a therapist, “I don’t want to take my emotional clothes off in front of someone who’s fully dressed.” Like most teenagers, she did not want to discuss her problems with adults; she wanted to look to her peers for support. And she led by example. She modeled the support for her peers that she wanted for herself. Being the one who listened made her essential to her friends. Being essential to her friends empowered her to overcome her own crises.


The Imogen Foundation will continue her work here on earth by developing and implementing workshops in active listening, compassion, empathy and mental health first aid for middle school and high school students. These workshops will constitute a training program for teenagers to identify peers in crisis, provide appropriate peer support, and understand signs of mental health emergencies that require escalation and additional resources. We will create a comprehensive curriculum, train teachers and deploy social workers to schools.

All activities will take place in New York City middle school and high school advisory periods during day school. Donations will fund a pilot program that will roll out in spring 2019 in at least one (1) but as many as six (6) NYC DOE District 2 middle schools. We hope to scale the program to reach all NYC middle and high school students in the next four years.



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