Mission: To raise awareness, fund scientific research, and provide resources and aid to those affected by suicide.
About the Organization: Founded in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide — which results in nearly forty-three thousand deaths a year in the United States — through research, education, and advocacy. The largest private funder of suicide prevention research, the organization also offers educational programs for professionals; works to raise public awareness about mood disorders and suicide prevention; promotes policies and legislation that impact suicide prevention; and provides programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk.
Current Programs: AFSP's research program has awarded grants in support of neurobiological, genetic, psychosocial, clinical treatment, community intervention, and loss survivor studies as well as other topics. The organization's advocacy work at the federal and state levels includes the promotion of policies that support suicide prevention in schools, suicide prevention in the military and for veterans, training for health professionals, and funding for the National Violent Death Reporting System. AFSP's education program develops and provides resources for raising awareness around youth suicide, including materials tailored for schools, teachers, students, and parents; information on early detection and prevention; and "first aid" training in mental health. The foundation also offers a survivor outreach program that provides peer support designed to help those who have lost a loved one to suicide cope, connect, and heal. In addition, AFSP's local chapters are involved at the grassroots level in advocacy, survivor support, and education and community programs.
The organization also offers an interactive screening program, an anonymous web-based method of outreach for use in college and workplace settings.
Website: Visitors to the AFSP site can learn more about suicide, including warning signs and risk factors, statistics, and treatment; download fact sheets detailing the number of suicides and their cost at the individual state level; and/or browse research findings. The site also offers support to those who are thinking about suicide, have attempted suicide, have lost a loved one to suicide, or are concerned about someone being at risk. In addition, visitors interested in suicide-prevention programming for their local schools, workplace, or community can ask the nearest AFSP chapter; or learn how to take action by volunteering as a field advocate, participating in an AFSP walk or other event, signing up for suicide prevention training, and/or making a donation.
Funding: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is funded by foundations, corporations, and individuals.