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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Announces Diversity as Priority Focus Area for Research Funding

23 Jul 2020 — 2 min read


Honoring My Mother by Working Toward a World Without Suicide

NEW YORK – JULY 27, 2020 – The nation’s largest private funder of suicide prevention research, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) announced today the research priority areas for the 2020-2022 grant funding cycles. The new research priorities are suicide prevention within underrepresented racial and ethnic communities and the evaluation of technological tools for suicide prevention. Applications in these areas will be reviewed along with the general pool of grant applications, with priority given to strong grants in the designated fields.

“We define priorities for funding every two years to stimulate research in understudied areas. At AFSP, we have made a commitment to eliminate injustice and inequities in mental health and suicide prevention. One way we are working towards this goal by promoting research to understand and prevent suicide in underrepresented racial and ethnic communities and support researchers from these underrepresented groups.  Building a research community and encouraging a growing body of knowledge is one of many steps we are taking to generate sustainable change,” said Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman, AFSP vice president of research. “We also encourage applications that explore the priority areas set out by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force.”

This year’s focus on diversity is a part of AFSP’s larger commitment to addressing the disparity in mental health care access. With the vast array of technological tools for suicide prevention, the second priority area is on evaluation of technology for suicide prevention. 

The two-year priority period allows for resubmission of unsuccessful applications in the second year. Each application is reviewed multiple times by the top suicide prevention researchers in the world. The research grants are funded mainly through individual donors who attend the AFSP Out of the Darkness Walks and other public education events. Many of the AFSP grantees then go on to receive further funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and other large funding agencies. Last year, AFSP awarded over $5M in research grants for nearly 40 new studies.

The deadline for application is Sunday, November 15. For more information and to apply, visit

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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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