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Three-Year Strategic Plan

The three-year strategic plan, covering the 2023 – 2025 fiscal years, articulates five goals and key strategies that we will accomplish over the course of this plan.

Executive Summary

The new three-year strategic plan was developed by listening to all voices within the organization, and articulates five goals and 25 key strategies that the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will accomplish over the course of the plan. It builds on progress AFSP made in implementing the previous plan and identifies critical issues to concentrate on over the next 3 years, which are represented throughout the plan, including:

Within the plan there is a major focus on Research, Programs and Advocacy, and on implementation of our bold goal, a targeted initiative aimed at reducing the U.S. suicide rate 20% by 2025.

AFSP will be relentless in its efforts to achieve the outcomes outlined in this strategic plan and will do everything it can to advance its mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

Goal 1

Accelerate progress in suicide research by driving discovery & innovation


  • Increase total funding for research, targeted funding for:
    • Marginalized populations
    • Implementation science
    • Loss survivors
  • Attract new and diverse talent into suicide research, including researchers from marginalized populations
  • Identify key research questions and increase the focus on priority research
  • Partner with federal & other funders to increase support for research priorities
  • Provide training and support to researchers to improve research quality
  • Communicate research findings to the public and end users to increase knowledge and awareness

Goal 2

Engage interested parties and the public in education, advocacy & action


  • Leverage and galvanize current political will (nationally and through chapters) to increase impact on Federal & State legislation and policies
  • Execute public policy priorities and establish impact measurements
  • Execute a comprehensive communications and marketing strategy, nationally and through chapters
  • Expand reach and maximize impact by:
    • Engaging interested parties and public through compelling storytelling
    • Leveraging and mobilizing key influencers and others to amplify voices
    • Supporting needs of, elevating voices in, marginalized communities
    • Engaging new and existing strategic partnerships
    • Working with media & entertainment to change culture

Goal 3

Strengthen AFSP's capabilities to realize the mission


  • Enhance workforce diversity and skill for equity and inclusion
  • Develop & implement a staff structure and organizational culture that assures AFSP’s future success
  • Prioritize & leverage technology as an enabler for staff and the work of AFSP
  • Increase investment in chapters to develop and implement a structure to better deliver on the mission
  • Generate & maximize revenue to carry out the mission

Goal 4

Engage people with evidence-informed programs


  • Deliver programs virtually and in-person to impact the general population and more targeted groups
  • Escalate reach and active collaboration with diverse communities
  • Establish strategic partnerships
  • Measure and communicate impact of programs
  • Increase active collaboration with employers and reach more people at work with programs

Goal 5

Catalyze a reduction in the suicide rate through healthcare, emergency medicine, corrections systems change, and firearms suicide prevention


  • Leverage strategic partnerships to maximize implementation in the four target areas
  • Engage and support chapters to expand programs in the four target areas
  • Identify and leverage metrics to measure and communicate impact
  • Integrate organization-wide involvement in the four target areas
  • Craft strategies to adapt & sustain a bold goal beyond 2025
Three-Year Strategic Plan booklet cover

A Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care

AFSP is a member of the CEO Alliance for Mental Health, a leadership coalition of the nation’s 16 most prominent mental health advocacy organizations, professional associations and media partners. Formed in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and the sharply increased demand for mental health care, we developed A Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care. Across each of 7 strategic pillars, we seek to advance policy, programs and standards that could effectively respond to the nation’s critical mental health needs, along with the social and economic conditions that result in inadequate and inequitable access to treatment.

A Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care cover