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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Awards $5.3M for 26 Suicide Prevention Research Grants

25 Oct 2018 — 3 min read



The Widow Next Door

Contacts: Alexis O’Brien, AFSP PR Director, 347-826-3577,

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Awards $5.3M for 26 Suicide Prevention Research Grants

NEW YORK (October 25, 2018) – For 31 years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has funded research to learn more about suicide and how to prevent it. Since 2014, AFSP has invested $11.2M in research that has included a focus on critical areas related to Project 2025, an initiative developed by AFSP aiming to reduce the annual suicide rate in the United States 20 percent by 2025. These critical areas include large healthcare systems, emergency departments, criminal justice systems, and the firearms-owning community. Overall, AFSP has invested a total of $5.3M this funding cycle through 26 international research grants.

“Since 1987, findings from our research grants have helped us learn more about how to prevent suicide and have informed the focus of the four areas of Project 2025. In addition to our broader research portfolio, we are investing in studies that would help to meet AFSP’s bold goal of reducing the suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025,” said Jill Harkavy-Friedman, AFSP vice president of research.

Some of the studies that will address the needs of Project 2025 focus on:

  • Ketamine as a treatment for people having thoughts of suicide
    • $89,644 to Cheryl McCullumsmith, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Cincinnati
  • Reducing short-term suicide risk for patients after discharge from the hospital
    • $1,299,680 to Kate Comtois, Ph.D., M.P.H., at the University of Washington
  • Safety planning to prevent suicide
    • $1,495,075 to Gregory Brown, Ph.D., at the University of Pennsylvania, Barbara Stanley, PhD at Columbia University Medical Center, and Edwin Boudreaux, Ph.D., at University of Massachusetts Medical Center
  • Mobile technology to reduce suicide in physicians
    • $300,000 to Constance Guille, M.D. at the Medical University of South Carolina and Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Michigan
  • Lethal means counseling
    • $1,478,266 to Matthew Miller, M.D., at Northeastern University

Each grant application was reviewed as part of a rigorous process conducted by the top suicide prevention researchers in the world. Many AFSP grantees go on to receive further funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and other large funding agencies. The research grants are funded mainly through donors who attend the AFSP Out of the Darkness walks and other local community events. To learn more about the grants awarded this year go to:

AFSP is working with the International Academy of Suicide Research to bring suicide prevention researchers together at their biannual International Summit for Suicide Research in 2019. To learn more or to register for this summit: To learn more from AFSP-funded researchers in their own words,

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, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., 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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