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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and National Latino Behavioral Association Launch a Suicide Prevention Resource for Latinx and Hispanic Communities

September 26, 2022 – 5 min read


Talk Saves Lives logo

NEW YORK (September 26, 2022) – National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the accomplishments by and in support of Hispanic communities. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA) are launching a needed resource for mental health and suicide prevention awareness education for communities of Hispanic heritage. Talk Saves Lives (TSL): An Introduction to Suicide Prevention for Latinx and Hispanic Communities is a presentation designed to create conversations in these communities around mental health and encourage those who are struggling to seek help. The presentation and resources are available in English and Spanish, in person and virtually, starting in October 2022. 

"The Hispanic community makes up more than 18% of the nation's population yet there is a lack of suicide prevention services that are accessible and relevant. AFSP and NLBHA have partnered together to address suicide prevention and have worked to culturally adapt the Talk Saves Livescurriculum to support the Latino community. This is an exemplary model of how to address suicide for a growing segment of the U.S. population in order to save lives, " said NLBHA Executive Director Fred Sandoval.

These past years, and especially due to COVID, organizations have needed to step up to make progress happen intentionally and concretely to address the tremendous mental health needs for all, and for Hispanic communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. “Hispanic and Latino people were 3.1 times more likely than non-Hispanic white people to be hospitalized and 2.3 times more likely to die from COVID-19 infection,” as stated in the Unequal Toll of the COVID-19 Pandemic from the CDC. 

“Our partnership with NLBHA is at the heart of AFSP's efforts to build health equity. We know that struggling with suicidal thoughts or the loss of a loved one is incredibly difficult and our goal is to connect Hispanic people across the country with resources in a language they understand, and in a way they can relate to culturally,” said AFSP CEO Bob Gebbia. “We are excited to be offering our flagship Talk Saves Lives™ program, not just with language translation but with culturally appropriate messaging – and believe it will help save lives.”

According to the latest data from the CDC, in 2020 the suicide rate for the general population decreased by 3%. For Hispanic communities, the suicide rate for this time period varied between genders. While the rate has decreased 4.1% (from 2.95 in 2019 to 2.83 in 2020) for Hispanic females it increased 5.6% (11.61 in 2019 to 12.26 in 2020) for Hispanic males. In 2020, 3,681 adult Hispanics between the ages of 20-64 died by suicide and the rate has been climbing since 2000. 

“I started as an AFSP volunteer providing training for TSL in Spanish during the pandemic and witnessed many people deeply struggling with their mental health. I am thrilled that this new Talk Saves Livesacknowledges the taboos in our culture around mental health and suicide and the unique struggles and realities of the Hispanic community that impacts our mental well-being. It recognizes the critical role of family to support one another and, with its beautiful colors and visuals, and prompts, the presentation tugs at our communities’ heart and livelihood — subtly incorporating aspects of our tradition of storytelling,” said Tatiana Villarreal-Otálora, PhD, LCSW, AFSP Georgia Chapter board member and volunteer with lived experience.

Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention for Latinx and Hispanic Communities is a community education presentation addressing mental health, suicide, and its impact in the Latinx and Hispanic communities in the United States. This module, one of several in the AFSP Talk Saves Lives™ program, focuses on:

  • Protective factors, risk factors and warning signs specific to Latinx and Hispanic communities;
  • Racial and systemic factors that contribute to barriers in seeking help and suicide risk in Latinx and Hispanic communities;
  • How participants can take care of their communities and speak with family and friends about suicide and mental health; and
  • Steps to take to seek culture-specific mental health resources in Spanish and English.

Visit here to request a presentation of Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention for Latinx and Hispanic Communities and other presentations through a local chapter. 

Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention for Latinx and Hispanic Communities was created in collaboration with NLBHA and clinical experts at AFSP. This partnership is the first of its kind at AFSP in its effort to provide mental health and suicide prevention education, alongside culturally relevant information; and to expand suicide prevention programming to the Hispanic community.

As a health organization, AFSP is dedicated to equity by addressing the mental health and suicide prevention needs among underserved populations. It is committed to a process of change knowing that long-term, sustained efforts are needed to improve access to culturally informed, evidence-based quality mental health care.

AFSP stimulates and funds research related to underrepresented groups, health disparities and inequities with the support of AFSP’s Scientific Council. For the 2020-2022 research grant cycles, the Scientific Council has prioritized suicide prevention research related to underrepresented communities, health and mental health disparities and inequities, as well as researchers from underrepresented backgrounds who are proposing research focused on understanding and preventing suicide.

Resources specific to the Latinx/Hispanic community:

For safe reporting consult these quick tips for journalists. When reporting on suicide, please include the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number 9-8-8, which provides 24/7, free, and confidential support or the Crisis Text Line (text TALK or AYUDA to 741741).


The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through public 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, with an Advocacy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states including Puerto Rico, 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.


María de los Ángeles Corral, AFSP VP of Public Relations, 917-439-2946, [email protected]

Fred Sandoval, NLBHA Executive Director, 505.980.5156, [email protected]