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Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 10-19 year olds in the United States, and the 2nd leading cause of death among college students. In a typical high school, it is estimated that three students will attempt suicide each year and many more seriously consider suicide or report feeling sad or hopeless. Ten percent of college students report that they’ve been suicidal.
In spite of these alarming statistics, in most cases suicide can be prevented.
I would like to share with you some of the vital work that the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is doing to prevent youth suicide:
- AFSP’s More Than Sad: Teen Depression program has been implemented in thousands of schools across the country. More Than Sad educates teens to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in themselves and others, and promotes the importance of seeking help.
- More Than Sad: Suicide Prevention Education for Teachers and Other School Personnel is an educational program to help teachers and school personnel learn more about teen suicide and how they can play a role in its prevention.
- After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools provides information, tools, and guidance to schools that have been touched by the tragedy of a suicide. The Toolkit covers crisis response, helping students cope, working with the community, memorialization, social media, suicide contagion, and bringing in outside help.
- Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention: This collaboration with the Trevor Project, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists offers concrete information on best practices regarding student mental health and focuses on identifying and referring distressed students.
- Interactive Screening Program (ISP) is innovative, anonymous, and engaging. It’s designed to reach people most at risk and connect them with the support and resources they need. Used on college campuses nationwide, the ISP is proven to help those who need help the most.
- Youth Suicide Prevention Research: As the leading private funder of suicide prevention research, AFSP supports researchers investigating new treatments and interventions. Recent studies range from examining the relationship among impulsivity, sense of capability, and suicide attempts in adolescence to testing tools to help physicians and nurses working in pediatric in-patient units recognize youth at risk for suicide.
These initiatives represent only a part of our prevention efforts. We need to do more to prevent the loss of young life, and to do that we need your continued support.
I ask that you make an investment in AFSP’s efforts to prevent youth suicide.
Whatever you are able to give-- $50, $100, $500, or more-- your gift is vitally important.
A gift of $1,000 or more also entitles you to membership in the Founders Circle. Founders Circle members receive recognition in our Annual Report and other donor publications.
A tax-deductible gift to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a sound investment with 82.1% of every dollar contributed supporting our research funding and prevention programming.
So please join me in making a gift today.
Thank you for your support of our work to end youth suicide.
Chief Executive Officer