AFSP Vermont earns National Recognition for work on Project2025 and Out of the Darkness Walk
February 16, 2023 – 2 min read
Burlington, VT - Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. At its annual Chapter Leadership Conference held recently in Seattle, WA, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) recognized the support and work done by the Vermont Chapter with the Outstanding Chapter Support of Project2025 Award for their exemplary service in helping to prevent suicide across Vermont.
Project2025 is a nationwide initiative to reduce the rate of suicide by 20% by 2025. Even though more is being done today to prevent suicide than at any other time in history, the rate of suicide continues to rise in the United States, and at a faster rate in Vermont. Led by AFSP, with guidance from the top minds in the field and dynamic data modeling, Project2025 utilizes programs, policies and interventions that will prevent as many suicides as possible. It is a collaborative effort to implement and scale these strategies nationwide, and across Vermont.
“Suicide is a major health issue that affects communities large and small, across the country,” said CEO Robert Gebbia, of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “It’s because of the work of our AFSP volunteers across Vermont that this public health issue is finally getting the attention it deserves. The involvement of our Chapter volunteers in Project2025 will help us reach our goal of reducing the suicide rate 20 percent by 2025 in the United States.”
In addition to the Outstanding Support of Project2025 Award, the Vermont Chapter was also awarded a Century Club Walk Award, highlighting the top Out of the Darkness Walks to Fight Suicide across the country. The 2022 Burlington Out of the Darkness Walk ended the walk season in the top 10% of all walks in the nation, raising over $120,000 for critically needed suicide prevention programs, initiatives, and resources in Vermont.
Over 70 AFSP national chapters attended the annual six day conference featuring the latest research specific to suicide prevention, and sessions addressing school based and workplace initiatives, and programs to reach those struggling and who have lost a loved one to suicide. An awards dinner capped off the conference and highlighted the exemplary work of AFSP Chapters across the nation.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. 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. 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.
Pictured, left to right:
Mike Lamma, AFSP Executive Vice President and COO; Eva Zaret, AFSP Vermont board member; Terri Lavely, AFSP VT Board chair; Heather White, Area Director; Raven Pfaff, AFSP VT Board Member; Megan Cole, Project2025 Manager of Chapter Engagement; and Dr. Christine Moutier, AFSP Chief Medical Officer