World Suicide Prevention Day event kicks off national campaign to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide
NEW YORK – September 8, 2021 – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, today announced it is hosting a day-long livestream event on Friday, September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day. The event, which also coincides with National Suicide Prevention Week (NSPW), will feature AFSP experts, advocates, celebrities, and artists to help save lives and honor those impacted by suicide. With a campaign mantra of “Together, we can help #StopSuicide,” AFSP will bring together communities across the country and the world at one place, one time on the organization’s national Facebook page, @afspnational, for the #StopSuicide: A World Suicide Prevention Day Livestream. It will be an action-packed line-up of inspiring conversations about mental health and suicide prevention, and highlight research, entertainment, advocacy, education and more. Tune in from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET from the AFSP Facebook Event page: https://fb.me/e/1z7lMwyrK
“We’ve seen incredible progress on an individual and national level around the importance of mental health in the past few years, but we know there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to suicide prevention,” said Robert Gebbia, CEO, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “We’re here today to encourage individuals to take that next step in having deeper conversations to learn more about what leads someone to suicide in order to help prevent it – and get involved in ways that are meaningful to them. Together, we can help stop suicide.”
#StopSuicide: A World Suicide Prevention Day Livestream
On World Suicide Prevention Day, AFSP’s Facebook Live event will bring together experts, celebrities, influencers, and artists to share stories of hope and healing, with panel conversations on mental health and suicide prevention, and share resources for those who are looking for ways to get involved or to support others. Specific guest speakers and panel discussions include:
- Opening Remarks from Comedian Gary Gulman: Opening remarks and mental health tips from comedian Gary Gulman, whose HBO special The Great Depresh melded standup with a documentary-style look at his lived experience and hospitalization
- Music & Mental Health: In partnership with Audacy, a panel on the power of music and storytelling by musicians, including singer Normani and DJ Yesi Ortiz joined by AFSP’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christine Yu Moutier and Audacy Senior VP of Programming, Dave Richards
- Men, Music & Mental Health: AFSP has partnered with Sound Mind Live to host a panel on mental health with men in the music industry. Musical guests include singer/songwriter Ricky Duran, Cameron Boyer from the band Weathers, and Anthony Green and Brendan Ekstrom from rock band Circa Survive, moderated by Chris Bullard, Executive Director of Sound Mind Live as the moderator
- #RealConvo Concert: Anthony Green and Brendan Ekstrom from Circa Survive, an American rock band, will perform and have a conversation with moderator Brett Wean, AFSP’s senior manager of writing and entertainment outreach. The band recently had a merchandise sale with proceeds going towards AFSP. More details here
- A Conversation on Coping with Suicide Loss Panel: Award-winning actor and suicide loss survivor Courtney B. Vance (Lovecraft Country, American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson) and Dr. Robin L. Smith, licensed psychologist and bestselling author who was first introduced to viewers around the world as the on-air therapist-in-residence for The Oprah Winfrey Show, in a conversation around the topic of coping with suicide loss
- Content Creators & Mental Health: Moderated by Sasha Aronzon-Martofel, co-founder of Self-Care Is For Everyone, this panel will feature artists and content creators who can speak to their mental health journey and the ways that it has influenced their art. Specific guests include Timothy Goodman, Jari Jones, Minaa B. and Jessica Goldsmith
- 988 & The Future of Suicide Crisis Response: AFSP’s Chief Executive Officer, Robert Gebbia will moderate a panel with guests U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT-02), State Rep. Tina Orwall (D-WA-033) and Tori Yeates of AFSP’s Utah Chapter Board, on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's transition to 988 and the future of crisis care
- Preventing Youth Suicide: A panel that looks at a new national partnership devoted to preventing youth suicide between AFSP, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Moderated by AFSP’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christine Yu Moutier will speak with guests Dr. Lisa Horowitz from NIMH and Dr. May Lau from the AAP, who is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern and Medical Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Program at Children’s Medical Center Dallas
- A Conversation on Youth & Mental Health in Communities of Color: This panel explores mental health and suicide prevention in Communities of Color, and speakers include Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, psychologist, scientist, media contributor, author and speaker and founder of The AAKOMA Project, a BIPOC mental health nonprofit; and AFSP’s Dr. Doreen Marshall, vice president of mission engagement
- Ask Dr Jill: How to Take the Conversation Deeper and Ask about Suicide: Speakers include AFSP’s Vice President of Research Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman, and Dr. Lisa Horowitz (NIMH)
- Feed Your Mind: Special ‘break’ session with AFSP National Board Member and Public Policy Council Chair Melissa d’Arabian, well-known celebrity, cookbook author and television host for the Food Network
- Guest appearances will also be made by U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh; American clothing designer Kenneth Cole, founder of the Mental Health Coalition; professional softball athlete, Haylie Wagner
#StopSuicide Key Artwork
To help bring the message of the campaign to life, AFSP partnered with Jessica Goldsmith, a Brooklyn-based illustrator and graphic designer to create art that embodies the #StopSuicide message. Staying true to her aesthetic of colorful and playful design, Jessica designed everything from NSPW stickers and flyers to Facebook cover photos and apparel with AFSP’s theme of “Together, We Can Help #StopSuicide.” More details on merchandise can be found here.
AFSP collaborated closely with Self-Care Is For Everyone and its co-founder Sasha Aronzon-Martofel and Jonathan Martofel, LMFT, to create a special line of clothing to honor World Suicide Prevention Day. Proceeds from merchandise sales to benefit AFSP. Purchase here.
Continuing the Dialogue
Later in September and beyond, AFSP has a series of partner events taking place across the country in an effort to continue bringing people together to help stop suicide.
Partnering with Audacy, the multi-platform audio content and entertainment company this year, AFSP joins the “I’m Listening” program and continues Audacy’s support of mental health awareness by amplifying the personal mental health stories of artists, athletes and celebrities, along with those of listeners, with the insights by AFSP medical health experts. Topics covered include mental health and children, the intersection of mental and physical health in the age of COVID-19, calls for social equity, coping techniques, and more.
For more information on other planned September events, please check out AFSP’s NSPW site. The organization also remains committed to Project 2025, AFSP’s unprecedented commitment to positively impact our culture surrounding mental health and suicide prevention and ultimately, reduce the suicide rate in the U.S. 20 percent by the year 2025.
For Media Partners
Research shows that the media may influence suicide rates by the way they report on suicide. Evidence suggests that when the media tell stories of people positively coping in suicidal moments, more suicides can be prevented. We urge all members of the media working on these stories to refer to the Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide for best practices for safely and accurately reporting on suicide. For stories of persons with lived experience of suicidality and finding hope, refer to www.lifelineforattemptsurvivors.org.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.