Megan McCarthy serves as AFSP’s Vice President for Project 2025, a nationwide initiative to reduce the annual rate of suicide in the U.S. 20% by 2025. Project 2025 relies on research to determine which interventions will have the biggest impact, and focuses on suicide prevention practices in four critical areas: health care systems, emergency departments, correctional settings, and firearms communities.
In this new role, Dr. McCarthy will lead the implementation and evaluation of Project 2025’s suicide prevention plans in each of the four areas. By measuring the reach and impact of those interventions, AFSP will learn more about the effectiveness of those programs and continuously use that data to fine tune future Project 2025 suicide prevention interventions.
Before coming to AFSP, McCarthy learned the importance of data-driven approaches to preventing suicide while serving as the National Deputy Director for Suicide Prevention at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she led the development of VA’s comprehensive public health approach to preventing Veteran suicide and oversaw the VA’s suicide prevention data surveillance, research, and program evaluation teams.
She has appeared on NPR and numerous other media outlets and publications, where she has discussed the intersection of mental health, suicide prevention, and firearms safety.
Dr. McCarthy received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a doctorate in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her doctoral internship at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and a postdoctoral clinical fellowship specializing in psychotherapy for underserved communities at Harvard Medical School.