& Gala

Making a Difference Through AFSP’s Chapters and Volunteers

The passion and dedication of AFSP’s volunteers, many of whom have a personal connection to the cause, make it possible to accomplish all we do to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

In March, volunteers and staff from across the country gathered in Houston, Texas for the 17th annual Chapter Leadership Conference to acknowledge our accomplishments and learn more about moving our mission forward. The theme of this year’s event was “Together, We Can Help Stop Suicide.”

Over the course of the event, 325 in-person attendees and 100+ online participants representing local chapters from across the country heard inspiring stories and updates, sharing experiences and taking a look ahead at what we can all accomplish if we do it together.

The National Capital Area chapter was awarded Overall Chapter of the Year. Despite the continued challenges posed to communities and organizations across the country since the start of the pandemic, the AFSP National Capital Area chapter’s impact continued to grow and thrive. The chapter explored creative ways to continue to fundraise, provide suicide prevention education to the public, host events that fostered a sense of community and togetherness, and serve AFSP’s mission of saving lives and sharing hope with those affected by suicide.

Alexander Silva Volunteer Spotlight

The 33rd Annual Lifesavers Gala

Each year, AFSP’s Lifesavers Gala is a special chance to honor those who have helped us make important strides in the fight to stop suicide. Gala award recipients, who include scientists, celebrities and influencers, public policy advocates, and those with a personal connection to the cause, go above and beyond in raising awareness, elevating public discourse, and creating a culture that’s smart about mental health. The Gala is also an opportunity to raise funds for AFSP’s leading suicide prevention initiatives and for our supporters to come together and reflect on the past year’s accomplishments.

This year’s Lifesavers Gala, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, was hosted by mental health activist, model and entrepreneur, Tanaye White, who uses her platform to share about her own experience with depression and suicide loss. The inspiring event featured distinguished honorees including:

  • Kenneth Cole, designer, social activist and founder of The Mental Health Coalition (MHC)
  • Courtney B. Vance, award-winning actor and vocal advocate for mental health, who spoke openly about his family’s suicide loss, his journey with therapy, and the importance of seeking help
  • Melissa Bernstein, founder of the digital space Lifelines, where people engage with shared community and mental health resources
  • David Brent, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has worked as a researcher of adolescent suicide for four decades at the University of Pittsburgh, where he has helped develop and test novel methods for the assessment of suicidal risk
  • Brian Ahmedani, Ph.D., Director, Center for Health Policy & Health Services Research at Henry Ford Health System, whose transformational studies examining patterns of care before suicide resulted in national changes in suicide risk screening and prevention protocols

We wish to thank this year’s Gala chair, John Arena (Senior Vice President, Head of U.S., Lundbeck), and our sponsors: Lundbeck, Janssen Research & Development, Otsuka, Sunovion, Ray Paul, Jr., Aetna CVS Health, Arnold & Porter, CBS Viacom, DonorDrive, Real Chemistry, SCYNEXIS, Troutman Pepper, Viatris, Everytown for Gun Safety, Axsome Therapeutics, IQVIA, OptimizeRx, Relmada Therapeutics, and Third Wheel.

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