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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Announces New Program to Support People Caring for Others at Risk of Suicide

15 Sep 2021 — 3 min read

By AFSP

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Finding Hope program equips communities nationwide with educational resources to help prevent suicide

NEW YORK (September 16, 2021) – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, today announced a new program, “Finding Hope: Guidance for Supporting Those at Risk.” The program fills a gap by providing much-needed education to friends, family, and others interested in learning more about how to support someone struggling with mental health, suicidal thoughts, or a recent attempt.

According to a nationwide CDC survey conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, experiences of distress such as depressive and anxiety symptoms were 3-4 times greater than pre-pandemic periods. Additionally, more than 10 percent of respondents said they had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days compared to just over 4% in 2018. To address this increase in distress and potential risk in our communities, AFSP is offering the 90-minute in-person program across 29 AFSP chapters nationwide with a total of 82 trained presenters. The presentation covers topics that range from the process of recovery after a suicidal crisis, how to support a loved one’s mental health, warning signs to look for and crisis response. The program will also address treatment options available and how participants can practice self-care as they support someone in their lives with lived experience.

“Just as families and friends have learned how to support an individual in the throes of a physical health crisis, there is a critically important and supportive role to play when a loved one is in a mental health crisis. The recovery process extends far beyond clinical treatment, and involves learning, healing, and growth. This experience can and should include family, friends and loved ones,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at AFSP. “The Finding Hope program echoes our commitment to supporting people throughout an entire continuum of mental health and suicide-related experiences and encourages communities to gain the knowledge and resources to support those at risk.”

Led by trained AFSP staff and volunteers, as well as mental health professionals, “Finding Hope: Guidance for Supporting Those at Risk” is intended to increase the ability for family members and friends to support someone with lived experience and offers a resource to community members interested in this groundbreaking education.

The program, including resources such as educational videos, will be available starting on Monday, September 20, 2021. For more information on the Finding Hope program, please visit the AFSP website, or contact your local AFSP chapter.

AFSP also offers “Introduction to Supporting Those At Risk,” an introductory program to Finding Hope which provides a broader overview of supporting those with lived experience. This is a 45- to 60-minute program, available virtually, through 73 AFSP chapters nationwide.

 

ABOUT AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

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, 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 FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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