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Each year, Industrial Athletics creates a team to volunteer at the Out of the Darkness Walk. The gym also raises money through shirt sales which goes to the sponsors of the walk. That sponsor is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSPA is a non-profit organization that spreads awareness around suicide and helps those who are feeling lost or who are dealing with a loss from suicide. This non-profit has local chapters throughout the United States and works hard to help prevent suicide. 

Origin Story

In 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention was established. The organization has empowered by research, education, and advocacy to act against suicide. The funds donated to the AFSP go towards funding scientific research, educating the public, and advocating for public policies. They also help in supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide. Funded study helps to improve interventions, train clinicians in suicide prevention, and advocate for policy changes that will save lives. Local chapters are in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico. 


This foundation began with a small group of individuals who all lost someone to suicide. They came together to establish a private source of support for suicide research and education. The mission was to ensure essential suicide prevention efforts could be sustained to help individuals in the future. These families joined with scientists to begin this mission. These founders became concerned about the rise in youth suicide rates over the last 40 years. The suicide rate for young men has tripled and has doubled for young women. For ages 15 to 24, suicide is currently the third leading cause of death, while the highest rate of suicide is among those aged 40 to 59. Before the AFSP’s founding, no national-scope non-profit was dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide. 


The AFSP has helped with suicide prevention in many ways since its founding almost 40 years ago. Many people who have lost a loved one to suicide have been connected to support one another. Thousands of individuals are at risk for suicide, and those who love them have reached out for support. Members of the scientific and clinical communications have conducted groundbreaking research on suicide and prevention. Local communities have been educated by the AFSP on suicide and how to prevent it. AFSP has created space within public policy, which enables it to press for legislation and policies at the federal, state, and local levels. Their team of reporters have been educated on how to cover suicide in the media best. The AFSP has been working hard for the past few decades to provide education and support to those dealing with suicide. 

Take It To Congress

In 2022, research funding was increased by 30%, which added 34 new studies and increased the AFSP’s investment in research to $28 million. Eight of these studies were new in 2022, addressing their priority on research for underrepresented communities. Educational programs were expanded in workplaces, connecting more than 250,000 people. Also, in 2022, AFSP met with 250 Congressional offices, urging them to support tele-mental health. They worked to increase federal funding for suicide prevention research and resources for the new 3-digit call number for those in emotional distress (988). The foundation has been busy working to make changes locally and nationally to aid those affected by suicide.

40 Years In Service

Over the last almost 40 years, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has been working hard to educate and assist those impacted in one way or another by suicide. They have raised money that goes towards this research and aid while also working with those in power to make changes. The AFSP is a beautiful organization working hard to raise awareness and help anyone who has lost someone to suicide or is dealing with suicidal thoughts. If you or someone you know may be fighting these feelings, dial 988. A call or a text to this 3-digit number can help save a life.