About AFSP

Learn about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and our mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

Mission

Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide

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 this leading cause of death.

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
  • Educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention
  • Advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention
  • Supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide in our mission

Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Three Year Strategic Plan

Download our Three Year Strategic Plan

The history of AFSP

In 1987, a small group of caring individuals had a vision: to establish a private source of support for suicide research and education, so that essential suicide prevention efforts could be sustained into the future. These founding families—each of whom had lost someone to suicide—joined with scientists to create what today is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, or AFSP.

Many of our original founders were concerned about an alarming rise in youth suicide over the previous four decades. During this period, the suicide of young men had tripled, while for young women it had doubled. Suicide is currently the third leading cause of death among young people age 15 to 24. The highest overall rates of suicide are for adults age 40 to 59.

Before AFSP, there was no national-scope not-for-profit organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy.

Since its founding in 1987, AFSP has:

  • Mobilized and connected tens of thousands of people who have lost a family member, loved one, or friend to suicide
  • Reached thousands of individuals who are at risk for suicide, as well as those who love and care for them
  • Attracted the participation of members of the scientific and clinical communities, who conduct groundbreaking research on suicide and its prevention with support from AFSP
  • Established local chapters in all 50 states
  • Educated hundreds of local communities about suicide and how to prevent it
  • Created a public policy and lobbying arm by merging successfully with an existing national policy organization, thus enabling AFSP to press for legislation and policies at the federal, state and local levels that advance the goal of preventing suicide
  • Substantially increased our funding from individual donors, including the thousands of highly motivated individuals who participate in our Out of the Darkness Walks
  • Educated reporters and the media about how to best cover suicide
  • Communicated with hundreds of thousands of individuals through our website, social media, brochures, speakers and efforts to generate press coverage
Learn more about our work

Contact our national office

Toll-Free: 1-888-333-AFSP (2377)
T: (212) 363-3500
F: (212) 363-6237
General Inquiries: info@afsp.org
Press Office: 347-826-3577

Mailing Address:
199 Water St.
11th Floor
New York, NY 10038

Contact our public policy office

T: (202) 449-3600
F: (202) 449-3601

Mailing Address:
440 First Street, NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20001

Leadership

Learn about our national board, councils and committees.

Executive StaffRobert Gebbia
Chief Executive Officer
Christine Moutier, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Senior ManagementStephanie Rogers
Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing
(212) 363-3500 Ext. 2027
srogers@afsp.org
Jill Harkavy-Friedman, Ph.D.
Vice President of Research
(212) 363-3500 Ext. 2039
jharkavyfriedman@afsp.org
Daniel Killpack
Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer
(212) 363-3500 Ext. 2038
dkillpack@afsp.org
Michael F. Lamma
Senior Vice President of Development and Field Management
(212) 363-3500 Ext. 2016
mlamma@afsp.org
John Madigan
Senior Vice President of Public Policy
(202) 449-3600 Ext. 10
jmadigan@afsp.org
Doreen Marshall, Ph.D.
Vice President of Mission Engagement
(212) 363-3500 Ext. 2014
dmarshall@afsp.org
 

Helen Rogers Pridgen, MSW, LMSW
Vice President of Programs
(212) 363-3500 Ext. 3004
hpridgen@afsp.org

Megan McCarthy
Vice President for Project 2025
646-901-6904
mmccarthy@afsp.org

Division DirectorsLisa Brattain
Senior Director, East Central Division
(317) 517-5973
lbrattain@afsp.org
Janice Hurtado-Aeppli
Senior Director, Central Division
(312) 402-200
jhurtado@afsp.org
Valerie Kovacovich
Senior Director, Western Division
(510) 362-241
vkovacovich@afsp.org
Chris Owens
Senior Director, Southern Division
(770) 843-3836
cowens@afsp.org
Melanie Varady
Senior Director, Northeastern Division
(857) 202-706
mvarady@afsp.org

Connection makes a difference

Find a chapter