AFSP Georgia 2016 Accomplishments
Our chapter celebrated 10 years in Georgia in 2016. We are proud to have completed over 36 education and outreach activities throughout the state that year, averaging one program about every 10 days. AFSP Georgia also prides itself on the diversity of our educational efforts to promote suicide awareness and prevention, both geographically as well as demographically. A recap of these efforts:
- Our Research to Practice LGBTQ conference at the Emory University School of Medicine in March drew more than 70 professionals; evaluations were uniformly positive. The Georgia chapter made and facilitated great connections among the national and local speakers as well as the event participants.
- We again had a booth at the Atlanta Pride Festival. Taking place over a weekend in October, Atlanta Pride is the largest Pride event in the Southeast. Almost 2,300 people visited our booth, more than three times as many people as in the previous year and more than seven times as many people as in 2014 – our first year at the event. The vice chairman of Atlanta Pride wrote to express his gratitude for our participation at the festival, noting the importance of AFSP’s presence at the event and looking forward to working with the Georgia chapter to further strengthen our partnership.
- Three new safeTALK trainers for the Georgia chapter were trained and they, in addition to our existing trainers, completed eight safeTALK trainings this year. In addition, the Georgia chapter conducted eleven Talk Saves Lives presentations, three More Than Sad teen trainings and one More Than Sad teacher training. These trainings were provided to a variety of organizations, including:
- Atlanta VA Medical Center
- Behavioral Health Link (responsible for the Georgia Crisis and Access Line)
- Community Service Boards (organizations that are the safety net for mental health, developmental disability and substance use disorder services management and delivery in Georgia’s communities)
- Fort Benning staff (home of the U.S. Army Infantry)
- Decatur Special Victims Unit staff
- Georgia Partnership Against Domestic Violence staff
 Due to the efforts of the Georgia chapter in 2015, every public school in Georgia – more than 2,300 in total – have the More Than Sad program materials.
Survivor activities this year included our ongoing Survivor Outreach Program with visits to survivors of loss by trained volunteers. We also hosted our yearly Virtual Candlelight Vigil on Facebook and 29 loss survivors attended our International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day in Atlanta on November 19th.
Advocacy efforts included holding our first State Capitol Day event in Georgia as well as attending the Annual Advocacy Forum in Washington DC. We now have over 200 Field Advocates throughout the state and 3 Field Ambassadors (who lead our chapter’s advocacy & public policy activities).