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Stories about Volunteers

Jenniffer Moffett's stepdad Tom smiling and driving a boat.

We Need to Do This for Dad

This year I will have lived my life longer without Tom than with him. But he is with me every time I tell his story, train a suicide prevention class, visit with a suicide loss survivor, and attend an Out of the Darkness walk.

Evan Canham with his girlfriend Kelsey at the 2022 Golf for Hope event.

Finding Hope and Healing on the Links: Golfing to Support Suicide Prevention

Nearly 14 years ago, my family’s life changed forever. On October 1 of 2009, my brother Sean died by suicide. He was 24 years old at the time, and I was only 21. In the weeks, months, and years that followed, each of us processed and worked through that horrible loss in our own ways.

The Rev. Charles Lane Cowen attending a Stronger Communities: LBGTQ+ Suicide Prevention conference.

Finding Hope Through Religion: Together, We Can Stop Suicide in the Queer Community

As a queer Christian, I see how much pain and suffering my queer siblings face, and the statistics around suicide in the LGBTQ community are heartbreaking. Through organizations such as AFSP and The Trevor Project, I have learned so much about suicide prevention in the LGBTQ community.

AFSP North Texas chapter volunteer William Floyd wearing a dark blue t-shirt and looking at the camera.

Navigating Out of the Darkness

I think a big misconception is that those with lived experience are selfish or weak. We are neither. Mental health can be like a labyrinth, and it takes a lot to navigate out of the darkness.

A blue background with fuchsia text that says "We Love Our Volunteers," in the shape of a heart.

Celebrating Our Volunteers: How The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is Making a Difference Through Its People

Through local chapters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, our volunteers do the work of carrying out AFSP’s mission of saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. In recognition of National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 16-22, 2023), we salute and thank them, and all our remarkable volunteers.

New York Long Island Chapter volunteer Jaclyn Haber smiling with a white t-shirt that says, "Chief Hope Hugger."

How I Became a Chief Hope Hugger at The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walks

I first got involved with AFSP because of my own person struggles with mental health. As a volunteer I want to support everyone I can, and I discovered I could do that with something as simple as giving a hug!

AFSP Tennessee chapter volunteer Paul Augustyniak smiling and looking at the camera.

Finding Strength Through Connection As a Healing Conversations Coordinator

My wife Alice and I had known each other for 35 years and been married for 33 years. Losing her to suicide in 2016 was a terrible, traumatic experience. It was the people I met through AFSP who convinced me to become involved as a volunteer. I realized that we gain more strength through connection.

Headshot of Dr. Santhiny Rajamohan

Talk Saves Lives: How I’m Educating the Next Generation of Nurses

My interest in helping those with mental health challenges originated when I was working as a Registered Nurse in an inpatient psychiatric unit. I worked with families who struggled to understand the dynamics of their loved ones who were experiencing distress.

Jennifer Johnson headshot

Changing the Conversation on Suicide in the Black Community

I am a Black woman, and in our community, suicide is largely taboo. It is time for that mindset to be eradicated. I am doing my best to bring about the conversation of suicide prevention in our untapped populations, especially those of color.

Francis Gonzalez headshot

Delivering Talk Saves Lives en Español

Mental health and suicide are topics that are not spoken about enough in the Latinx community, though suicide has always impacted us. It’s exciting to me that AFSP’s Talk Saves Lives education program is available in Spanish.

Nancy Cooper headshot

Finding Strength in AFSP’s Overnight Community

I would like to see a world without suicide, in which everyone takes care of their mental health, and all people support one another and are kind to each other. Everyone should have access to the mental health support and services that they need.

Ihsan Hines headshot

I Walk for Atif and a World Without Suicide

When I envision my hope for the future, stigma around mental health will be a thing of the past. I plan to participate in the healing of our world by being transparent, and teaching others what I’ve learned through my times of struggle and triumph.