AFSP Maine Volunteer Roles
7 min read
Complete our Volunteer Application to get started!
All of our chapter operations are made possible with the dedication of volunteers across the State. Join us in our mission to #StopSuicide!
Levels of Engagement
Day of Event Volunteers
Sign up to help out during the day-of at a chapter event! There are numerous opportunities throughout the year to help us with events. From set up and tear down to running stations like event registration, pickup for prizes and other goodies, craft tables, and more, we need your helping hands! Our busiest time of need for day-of volunteers is in the fall during our Out of the Darkness season. See what's coming up here!
If you are looking for more consistent and ongoing participation, join one of our chapter committees. Get to know fellow volunteers and chapter leaders, and share your good ideas to help us shape the future of this chapter. We have a range of committees, described below, some of which are seasonal planning committees while others are active year-round.
Individuals with a desire for a higher level of involvement are encouraged to pursue leadership within the chapter. Chapter leaders develop and steward our strategic plan, and serve as a source of guidance and support for fellow volunteers. We offer leadership opportunities that vary by level of responsibility and time commitment, including both board- and non-board-level positions. It is never too early to start exploring your leadership goals within the chapter! We want to support your endeavor to become a leader in suicide prevention and encourage you to reach out about your interests!
The AFSP Maine Chapter is working hard to bring suicide prevention resources to as many people as we can across the State. It is through a number of volunteer-run committees that we are able to do this work, and hope you will consider joining us! The following chapter committees are described in more detail below:
- Communications Committee
- Community Walk Committees
- Development Committee
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility Committee
- Education Committee
- Spring Event Planning Committees (Ride to Fight Suicide, Hike for Hope, Paws for Prevention)
- Loss & Healing Committee
- Project 2025 Committee
- Public Policy Committee
- Volunteer Committee
This committee is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of internal and external chapter-wide communications. Volunteers play an essential role in chapter marketing and public relations activity through:
- Website Updates
- Social Media
- Email Communications
- Newsletters / Online Blog
- Press Releases
- Public Speaking & Interviews
- Storytelling & Thought Leadership Opportunities
Community Walk Committees
The annual Out of the Darkness Community Walks would not be possible without the hard work of our volunteer walk chairs and planning committees. Each fall, the Maine Chapter hosts walks in Portland, Bangor, Calais, and Fort Kent. These committees are a great place to start for new volunteers looking to gain a broader understanding of our role in the community. As a committee member, you will have the opportunity to:
- Raise awareness and funds to serve our mission
- Aide in the planning of a meaningful event that attracts thousands of local attendees
- Recruit and support walk participants
- Grow community & sponsor support
- Set the groundwork for new partnerships with organizations, schools, and community leaders
Our role in the community involves raising awareness, educating the public, advocating for policy change, and supporting those affected by suicide. To fulfill this role, we rely on the hard work of volunteers and on the support of both individual donors and community sponsors who make it all possible. Our Development Committee works alongside our board liaisons to build relationships that will further strengthen our efforts, from strategic volunteer recruitment to networking with other community leaders. Collaborate with our Development Chair and Board Member Liaisons to:
- Identify and pursue opportunities for chapter growth
- Make connections in the community to strengthen our volunteer base
- Establish and steward partnerships with other community leaders, organizations, and businesses
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility (DEIA) Committee
Members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, and other minority groups often face disproportionate inequities in care, support or mental health services in this country. Systemic racism and historical barriers and inequities have left particular ethnic, racial and minoritized populations facing trauma, loss, bias, social disparities and other unique challenges that have gone unsupported and largely unaddressed. We at AFSP are committed to rectifying this by working with diverse communities, organizations and policy makers to ensure that mental health resources that are culturally relevant are equitably available across the nation. Our chapter's DEIA Committee invites volunteers to join us in our efforts to:
- Understand the diverse constitution and unique needs of the community we serve
- Identify opportunities to improve connection with diverse communities
- Actively build relationships with fellow community leaders & organizations
- Recruit a representative volunteer base and leadership team
AFSP offers a number of free education programs to the public to increase awareness and understanding of this complex health issue. Members of this committee are trained to distribute educational materials and present our programs. Committee members are also encouraged to help identify opportunities to present our programs in the community. We recommend joining one of our four subcommittees to get started by focusing on one aspect of education first. You are welcome to participate on multiple subcommittees as you gain experience.
- Talk Saves Lives (TSL) Subcommittee: Present our introductory suicide prevention program and its specialty modules to a range of audiences aged 18+.
- More Than Sad (MTS) Subcommittee: Present this teen-specific program to adolescents aged 14-18, parents, and educators. Work with schools and youth-based programs to implement regular trainings.
- It's Real Subcommittee: This program series offers modules for teens ages 14+ as well as late high school and college students. Lead these programs to encourage help-seeking with an unscripted documentary and facilitated discussion. Collaborate with schools and universities to incorporate this program into their curriculum.
- Tabling Subcommittee: Attend a variety of community and mental health fairs to share resources and information about our work. View upcoming tabling opportunities here and let us know if there's another event (not on our calendar) that you're interested in tabling.
Spring Event Planning Committees
Get involved planning some of our other annual chapter events, including our Ride to Fight Suicide, Hike for Hope, and Paws for Prevention. These committees convene between December/January and remain active through the springtime when the events take place. Get involved and help to:
- Raise awareness and funds to serve our mission
- Recruit event participants and sponsors
- Manage event logistics
- Organize raffles at events
Loss & Healing Committee
Support for survivors of suicide loss can make a big difference to those who are grieving. If you feel ready and wish to share your compassion and empathy with those who are navigating their grief journey after a suicide loss, the Loss & Healing (L&H) Committee needs you. L&H volunteers are active in planning meaningful events and activities for loss survivors, and reaching out into the community to share our resources after loss. As a member of this committee you may:
- Help plan remembrance activities for our major community events (i.e. Out of the Darkness Walks, Hike for Hope, etc.)
- Connect with relevant community partners to raise awareness about the resources available to loss survivors
- Plan our annual International Survivors of Suicide Loss (ISOSL) Day events in the area
- Facilitate small group discussions at our ISOSL Day events
- Become a trained Healing Conversations volunteer to provide direct peer support to other survivors of loss
Project 2025 Committee
Get involved with our local efforts to support this national initiative to reduce the annual rate of suicide in the U.S. 20% by 2025. Learn more about Project 2025 and work with us on the four critical areas identified to save the most lives in the shortest amount of time:
- Large Healthcare Systems
- Emergency Departments
- Corrections Systems
Volunteers focused on Project 2025 work together to build relationships with businesses and organizations within these four domains. As a member of this committee, you can:
- Collaborate with businesses and organizations to understand their unique goals and needs to strengthen suicide prevention efforts
- Provide educational programming specifically designed for these key areas, including staff and clinician education
- Work with volunteers and staff across the country to share ideas and save lives
Public Policy Committee
Advocates looking to engage in meaningful dialogue with others about suicide prevention can apply their passion to shape changes in policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Join this committee to:
- Learn how to engage in advocacy (no prior experience is required!)
- Recruit Field Advocates to take advantage of easy ways to weigh in on policy issues
- Work with chapter and national leadership to identify advocacy opportunities at various levels of governance
- Plan, coordinate, and attend the annual State Capitol Days
- Build and maintain relationships with community leaders and elected officials to update/enact policy to enhance suicide prevention
We strive to build a strong volunteer community and need your help to welcome and support other volunteers! Work with our Volunteer Chair to create a positive volunteer experience through:
- Direct outreach to recruit, welcome, onboard, and thank volunteers
- Planning and coordination of events to recruit, onboard, and steward volunteers (i.e. new volunteer orientations, social events, appreciation events)
- Oversight and communication of chapter volunteer opportunities to registered volunteers
Complete our Volunteer Application to get started!
Still have questions about getting involved?
Contact our Special Events Manager at [email protected]
Interested in leadership opportunities?
Contact our Executive Director at [email protected]