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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading 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 impacted by suicide.
To fully achieve its mission, AFSP engages in the following Six Core Strategies:
- Funds scientific research
- Offers educational programs for professionals
- Educates the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention
- Promotes policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention
- Provides programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and involves them in the work of the Foundation
- Provides programs and resources for people with mood disorders and their families, and involves them in the work of the Foundation
The Foundation's activities include:
- Supporting research that is improving our understanding of suicide and its prevention. Since 2000, AFSP has invested over $8 million in new studies, including research into treatments for people who are depressed and suicidal.
- Providing education and information about depression and suicide to professionals, the media and the public through workshops, trainings, the AFSP website, videos, publications, brochures and public service announcements. AFSP's PSA, "Suicide Shouldn't be a Secret" has reached 90 million television viewers.
- Publicizing the magnitude of the problems of depression and suicide, advocating for policies and legislation that can help prevent suicide and working to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide.
- Offering programs for survivors of suicide loss that can be of assistance and involving survivors in suicide prevention. AFSP survivor initiatives include the National Survivors of Suicide Day program, which was broadcast to over 130 communities and was simulcast on the AFSP website, the Survivor e-Network and trainings for survivor support group facilitators.
In 1987, a number of leading experts on suicide came together with business and community leaders and survivors of suicide to form AFSP, a registered 501(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.
Out of the Darkness Walk
Every 16 minutes in the United States, someone dies by suicide. This year thousands of men and women will walk in over 100 communities across the United States, each contributing their voices to break the silence surrounding suicide.
By walking in the 2008 Out of the Darkness Community Walks to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), you will be walking with thousands of people nationwide to raise money for AFSP's vital research and education programs to prevent suicide and save lives, increase national awareness about depression and suicide, and assist survivors of suicide loss.
Many of our participants walk in memory of a loved one lost to suicide. You can tell their story and even put your loved one's photo on your personal web page. Each walk site has its own unique remembrance activity in which you can participate.
Registering is simple -- just click here, select the community walk nearest you, and complete the form. You will be guided through the registration process. Once your transaction is complete, you will receive a confirmation email receipt. You can then set up your own personal web page and begin fundraising.
Raising money and forming teams are easy with the tools provided on the website. Register today and make your own gift to start your fundraising efforts. You can e-mail your family, friends, and co-workers, print out sponsorship forms, and personalize a fundraising letter. If you raise $150 or more you will receive a 2008 Out of the Darkness T-shirt on the day of the event. You will also be eligible to earn incentive prizes.
We encourage you to register online and take advantage of all of the fundraising tools, but if you are unable to do so, please call 1-888-333-AFSP (2377) Ext. 13.