June 28, 2017 – This year marks the 30th anniversary of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Through the years, the organization has grown to reach 85 chapters in every state in the country where local communities now receive important education and advocacy programs and community support. Additionally, with the support of the community, AFSP recently funded $4.65 million in new suicide prevention research. While we are proud of the progress we have made together to address and prevent suicide, we still have a long way to go.
Suicide research provides the evidence needed to determine practical, preventable actions that save lives and significantly reduce the suicide rate. There is a great deal we have already discovered due to our strong investment in research:
- Suicide is related to brain functions that affect decision-making and behavioral control, making it difficult for some people to find positive solutions.
- No one takes their life for a single reason, such as getting a divorce or losing a job. In reality, these types of stresses combine with known risk factors, such as childhood trauma, substance use, chronic pain, or other factors that contribute to someone taking their life.
- If someone can get through the intense and short moment of active suicidal crisis, chances are they will not go on to die by suicide, which makes bridges barriers or the temporary removal of lethal means so important.
- Most people who have made a past suicide attempt go on to live healthy, fulfilling lives.
- Certain interventions and medications have been proven to help people reduce and manage suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Just imagine what more we can discover in our next 30 years — and the number of lives that will be saved — if AFSP has the necessary funding and support to advance our research of this tragic and preventable cause of death. It is critical that AFSP and its supporters continue to direct and lead research that provides the insight and answers we need to discover new treatments and learn more ways we can #stopsuicide as a leading cause of death.
It is time to raise our voices for suicide prevention! It is time to make mental health a priority for all Americans! It is OUR time to join together in making a difference in saving lives. Please join us in our fight by making a contribution today toward suicide prevention.
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