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Statement from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on the Tragic Murder of Tyre Nichols

28 Jan 2023 — 2 min read


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AFSP Applauds President Biden for Continued Focus on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health in the State of the Union Address

Today, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention released this statement offering mental health resources for those impacted by the murder of Tyre Nichols:

On the heels of released reports and bodycam footage showing the events that led to the death of Tyre Nichols, we are incredibly saddened by yet another tragic act of violence against the Black community, an act that is the result of police brutality. Beyond the impact this has on Nichols’ family and local community, events like this can be traumatizing for the entire Black community and other communities impacted by targeted violence. These events can increase stress, anxiety, and other emotions, on top of the ongoing impact of systematic racism.

“The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) continues to stand against systemic racism and reiterates its devotion to supporting members of the Black community with the necessary mental health and suicide prevention resources,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “It’s important to emphasize that seeing violent footage affects not only the community impacted by it, but others as well. Our organization is committed to health equity for all communities and encourages anyone who is feeling the impact of this event to reach out and know that they are not alone.”

For anyone who is experiencing stress and anxiety related to indiscriminate violence and brutality this week, there are people and resources available to help. There are proactive steps you can take to protect your own mental health and that of your loved ones:

  • Share resources for the Black community with those you know and your networks.
  • Have open, honest conversations with someone you trust. While it can be extremely difficult to open up, sharing your feelings and experiences with a trusted confidant is one of the most powerful things you can do for your mental health.
  • Likewise, reach out to friends and family to ask how they are doing. Respect their choice if they are not ready to share their feelings with you and offer to listen if they are.
  • Limit your intake of the news and turn it off when you have the information you need.
  • Plan activities that make you feel good, mentally and physically: get outside, exercise, do a hobby you enjoy, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Reach out to a medical professional when needed and call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 for immediate help.

We are encouraged by how our country has started to view mental health as a leading priority and are more open to talking honestly with others about it.  We need to continue to take that progress and turn it into action to help the communities that experience emotional distress and other negative impacts to their mental health.

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