Page 79 - South Mississippi Living - December, 2023
P. 79

  story by Lynn Lofton
photo courtesy of
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.
Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2021 American deaths by suicide numbered 48,183 and there were 1.70 million suicide attempts.
“AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss,” says Meghan Goldberg, executive director for Louisiana and Mississippi. “It’s the largest private funder of suicide prevention research in the U.S. We offer prevention training to schools, first responders, organizations and anyone in the community. We advocate for suicide prevention.”
The organization does not run the crisis lifeline call center at 988. “When those calls are received, the caller is connected to a trained counselor and local support,” Goldberg said.
AFSP is privately funded by generous individuals who helped pass the Out of the Darkness Law. The organization creates a culture that’s smart about mental health by engaging in the following core strategies: funding scientific research, educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention, advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention, and supporting survivors of suicide loss.
“The grassroots work we do focuses on eliminating the
loss of life from suicide by delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs,” Goldbeck says. “We need your help to grow our mission in Mississippi. Learn more about how you can make in impact.”
An Out of the Darkness walk was held in Biloxi in September but next year will be held on November 2.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
504.220.6100 •
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