Become an AFSP Volunteer, and Help Save Lives
Volunteers are the heart of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. These dedicated champions of suicide prevention care deeply about the cause, and they reach people in communities everywhere by delivering education and support programs, walking to raise awareness and funds, advocating for life-saving policies, and so much more. When you volunteer with AFSP, you join thousands who share your passion for saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. Learn more below about how to get involved, and become a critical part of our mission.
Meet Our Incredible Volunteers, and Learn Their "Why"
Each of our volunteers has their own "Why" — the personal story or belief that brought them to AFSP and drove them to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. Those who volunteer with our nationwide network of 74 chapters include survivors of suicide loss, people with lived experience, family and friends of those affected by suicide, and others who support the cause knowing this is an issue that affects everyone. In their work with local chapters, volunteers take what they have learned about suicide and suicide prevention in their own lives, and share it back with their communities. Their stories, expertise, and compassion are indispensable to AFSP's efforts.
There are so many ways to get involved, and volunteering can look different for everyone. AFSP's mission includes six main areas that you can help support as a volunteer, including loss and healing, education programs, fundraising, public policy, Out of the Darkness Walks, and chapter administration. Explore our volunteer opportunities below, and click the links to hear directly from AFSP volunteers about their experiences.
Suicide affects millions each year, and thanks to our donors and volunteers — many of whom are themselves survivors of suicide loss — we can provide resources that help people connect with other loss survivors, hear how they navigated their healing journeys, and learn to support others who have survived a loss.
By investing in research, we've learned so much about how we can prevent suicide. One of the most important things we've learned is that suicide prevention isn't just about supporting someone in a moment of intense crisis –– it's also about raising awareness and understanding, and helping the general public to have open and honest discussions about mental health and suicide. Our education programs are designed to provide that guidance.
All of what we do is made possible by our generous donors. In our mission to help save lives and bring hope to those affected to suicide, we follow four core strategies –– funding scientific research, educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention, advocating for life-saving public policies, and supporting those affected by suicide. Those strategies are the foundation of our organization, and they are fueled by year-round giving and fundraising efforts.
Our Public Policy office in Washington, D.C., works tirelessly to pass suicide prevention policies that help save lives. AFSP's public policy priorities are based on four overarching pillars, including research into who is dying by suicide and when, improving access to care and services, promoting mental health and preventing suicide in marginalized communities, and enacting systems change in critical areas where suicide risk is particularly high.
Oftentimes, an Out of the Darkness Walk is someone's first introduction to AFSP and the suicide prevention cause. Since they were first introduced in 2002, our Community and Campus Walks have brought together people affected by suicide, and connected them with a community of people who understand.
AFSP's nationwide network of chapters is an essential part of its mission to reach local communities upstream and increase public awareness of mental health and suicide prevention. Chapter volunteers and local board members are our most direct line of communication to people all over the country. Chapter Administration roles are crucial to making sure that chapters and board members are fulfilling AFSP's mission and meeting expectations.