We all face a degree of uncertainty in light of the global pandemic. But through our close-knit AFSP family in communities across the country, we will get through it together.
As an organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is leading by example in practicing healthy behaviors for ourselves and one another during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We care about every person and every community, and we are doing what we can to stop the spread of the Coronavirus and keep our staff, volunteers, advocates, program participants and supporters safe.
Like many organizations, our team members are working from home. Further, AFSP national and local chapter public events scheduled for this spring are being rescheduled to a later date or canceled. These decisions are not made lightly. Rather, they are out of concern for the health and safety of everyone involved.
Please be reassured AFSP remains fully operational during this unprecedented time. Educational programs or events are being held virtually, if possible, so that we may continue our important work while keeping participants safe. Much of our funded research is continuing, and in cases in which it’s not possible, because university labs are temporarily closed, it will resume as soon as access is safe. We are also continuing our Federal and State advocacy work virtually.
Most importantly, we are actively providing information about taking care of your mental health through social and traditional media, the AFSP website and other communication channels.
Please remember physical distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. It’s more important than ever, right now, to stay connected to family, friends, co-workers, classmates and others through phone calls and online. We can be there for each other and provide mutual support without coming into physical contact. Engaging in activities that are meaningful to you, personally, can also help.
If you are feeling very anxious or are struggling emotionally, contact a mental health professional, maybe via telehealth. Or, if you are in immediate crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
As always, thank you for all you do to help prevent suicide.
Robert Gebbia, CEO