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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide.
In 1987, a number of leading experts on suicide came together with business and community leaders and survivors of suicide to form AFSP, a registered501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. They believed that only a combined effort would make it possible to fund the research necessary for progress in the prevention of suicide. Such an approach has proven successful with heart disease, cancer and diabetes and it was hoped that it would be successful in dealing with depression and suicide.
Many of our original founders were concerned with the alarming rise in youth suicide over the past four decades. During this period, the suicide of young men had tripled; that of young women had doubled. Suicide is now the second major cause of death among high school and college students.
Suicide is even more frequent among older people. The highest rates are found in men over 50. Before the AFSP was formed, there was no national not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding the research, education and treatment programs necessary to prevent suicide. Over the past 20 years, we have changed that.