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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Invests $5.5M in Scientific Research to Prevent Leading Cause of Death

5 Jan 2021 — 1 min read


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NEW YORK (January 5, 2021) – The largest private funder of suicide prevention research, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), today announced an additional six research grants bringing the total to 43 new research grants, and the total investment to $5.5 million for the 2020-2022 grant funding cycle.  These research projects were awarded to researchers from across the world who focus their work on studies that help us learn more about suicide and how to prevent it.

“These grants show the incredible growth of the suicide prevention research community. I am looking forward to the many insights this research will provide to help guide our efforts to understand and prevent suicide,” said Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman, vice president of research, AFSP.  

Each application is reviewed multiple times by the top suicide prevention researchers in the world. The research grants are funded mainly through small individual donations from volunteers who attend AFSP Out of the Darkness experiences. Many of these researchers will go on to receive further funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and other large research funding agencies.

The research priority areas for the 2020-2022 grant funding cycles 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. 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 untested technological tools available for suicide prevention, the second priority area aims to provide guidance for the selection of effective technological suicide prevention tools. 

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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