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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Life Preserver

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) logo is a life preserver. I think the idea is that the organization brings people together who want to preserve life and prevent suicide. For those of us who have tried to help a loved one who has to navigate life with a mental illness, the idea that you, personally, are a life preserver for someone else is likely not part of your thought process. At least it wasn’t for me. Compassionate listener, mood tracker, financial supporter, worrier extraordinaire – those are the roles I filled as my dad fiercely battled bipolar disorder.

The Importance that International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Should Have on the World

November 22, 2014 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a day that much of society most likely does not know anything about. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in recognition of a resolution that Senator Harry Reid introduced to the senate, pronounced the Saturday before Thanksgiving to be “Survivors of Suicide Loss Day”. AFSP observes November 22 as being “International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day” to encompass the global population. 

Out of the Dark

Mental Health Awareness Week occurred from October 5-11 and on October 11 I participated in one of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s ‘Out of the Darkness Walks’ in Northern California. I was planning to go alone because I had attempted to persuade friends and family to join me, but I got the same response, ‘Susanna that is too depressing for an activity on a weekend’. I thought some of my friends who were in college would want to join me, but they said the same thing, ‘The events at school are too depressing for me, I tend not to attend those events’.