THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION
Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against the 10th leading cause of death in the USA.
AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.
AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health by engaging in the following core strategies:
Funding scientific research: AFSP started out as a research organization dedicated to finding the best ways to prevent suicide. Findings from our studies have increased our understanding of suicide and shaped prevention efforts around the world. For 2017 AFSP awarded more than $4.65 million to researchers from around the world to study suicide and suicide prevention To find out more about research funded by AFSP visit:
Educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention: The Maryland and National Capitol Area Chapters facilitate free More than Sad, Talk Saves Lives, and It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health programs for students, educators, parents and the general community in the DMV area. Additionally we sponsor trainings like safeTALK, ASIST and Mental Health First Aid for Youth and Adults.
Advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention: Each year, the Advocacy Forum brings together AFSP Field Advocates, chapter volunteers, and staff to network, share the latest research, and engage members of Congress in discussion on important suicide prevention issues, and share AFSP’s Federal Policy Priorities. The Maryland Chapter hosted its first State Capitol Day in February 2017. Field advocates had the chance to speak to 37 Senators and Delegates about suicide and suicide prevention in their district. To volunteer as a Field Advocate for Suicide Prevention sign up here and #bethevoice.
Supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide: The Survivor Outreach Program provides support in the aftermath of a suicide. Trained AFSP suicide loss survivor volunteers meet in person, by phone, or video chat with the newly bereaved to provide support and resources. On November 18 the Maryland and National Capitol Area Chapter are going to host 17 International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day events. Survivor Day is the one day a year when people all over the world gather at events to gain insight and to share stories of healing and hope. The Lifekeeper Memorial Quilt is another way to remember those we lost. If you would like to contribute a square for your loved one, please contact Sara Tagget at firstname.lastname@example.org or (443) 745-0862.
As a part of AFSP’s growing nationwide network of chapters, we bring together people from all backgrounds who want to prevent suicide in our communities. Families and friends who have lost someone to suicide, vulnerable individuals, mental health professionals, clergy, educators, students, community/business leaders, and many others energize our chapters.
OUT OF THE DARKNESS WALKS
Every year suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined, and yet suicide prevention doesn’t get anywhere near the funding given to other leading causes of death. The Campus, Community, and Overnight Out of the Darkness Walks benefit the AFSP by raising awareness on suicide and depression, raising money for research and education to prevent suicide from taking place, and providing assistance and a safe outlet for survivors of suicide. The Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together they can make big changes in the world. The walks fund suicide prevention programs, unite those who have been affected by suicide, and create communities that are smart about mental health. Thanks to Walkers and Donors like you, AFSP has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025. Together we can change the conversation about mental health and put a stop to this tragic loss of life.
Join us for an Out of the Darkness Walk in your community:
The Out of the Darkness Walks are a journey of remembrance and a walk that unites a community – a time to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and our loved ones. Together, whether you struggle with a mental health condition or lost a loved one to suicide, we walk out of the darkness to find hope. We all wear honor beads – each color shows our personal connection to the cause, and helps us identify others who understand our experience
- WHITE – LOST A CHILD
- RED – LOST A SPOUSE OR PARTNER
- GOLD – LOST A PARENT
- ORANGE – LOST A SIBLING
- PURPLE – LOST A RELATIVE OR FRIEND
- SILVER – LOST FIRST RESPONDER / MILITARY
- GREEN – STRUGGLED PERSONALLY
- BLUE – SUPPORT THE CAUSE
- TEAL -FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF SOMEONE WHO STRUGGLES