& Culture

Raising Public Understanding

Preventing suicide starts with encouraging people to feel more comfortable talking about mental health – their own and others’ – and knowing how to respond when a friend, family member, neighbor or coworker is struggling.

We all have a role to play. AFSP’s communication initiatives – through journalism, social media, television, film and more – provide people with the understanding they need to get involved and make a difference within their own communities.

Mental Health Awareness Month:
Demanding #MoreForMentalHealth

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Month campaign demanded #MoreForMentalHealth, encouraging people to champion the legislation and policies we KNOW – through research – save lives, including:

  • More accessible and affordable mental health care
  • More mental health and suicide prevention education in schools
  • More support for health providers and first responders
  • More funding for the 988 mental health and suicide crisis response system, and
  • More research that will help us learn more and support people better

For the month of May, we created a special microsite ( where visitors could learn more, join our advocacy efforts and create custom social graphics to support their demands for mental health.


views of the May website –
a 450% increase over last year


downloads using the site’s
custom artwork generator

A full-page letter demanding #MoreForMentalHealth, in partnership with eight organizations – the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, Inseparable, Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Well Being Trust, and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute – appeared in the May 1 Sunday edition of The New York Times.


scans of The New York Times QR code
leading readers to

On social media, we worked with popular influencers to help spread the word, including a PSA-style video featuring AFSP’s Dr. Christine Yu Moutier, along with actor Courtney B. Vance, Kenneth Cole, Alok Vaid-Menon, Sarah Barthel of the band Phantogram, and football player Solomon Thomas.





Event highlights included Anyone Can Advocate: A Conversation with AFSP Advocates, a special edition of Ask Dr. Jill on how research informs our public policy demands, and a roundtable event on mental health and entertainment featuring Dr. Moutier and actress Kristen Bell, in partnership with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.


total messages were sent
to Congress in support of
May Mental Health Month


letters from advocates
published in local media outlets

National Suicide Prevention Awareness
Month: Together, Let's Walk

In September, for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we put a special spotlight on the Out of the Darkness Walks, urging people across the country to walk together toward a world without suicide.

Our September campaign included a web page filled with illustrations and social sharables galvanizing people across the country to raise awareness through the Walks. The campaign also leveraged influencers including Eric Sedeño, Barrett Pall, Michell Clark, Cameron Rogers, and Russell Horning.


posts, from 5 high-
profile influencers


Reactions, Comments
& Shares



Event highlights included Men and Mental Health: A Conversation with NFL Players Dak Prescott and Solomon Thomas; Together Let’s Walk: An Out of the Darkness Panel Conversation; and CVS Health Live: Preventing Suicide in Our Communities.

Our campaign-specific content across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok resulted in:


New followers




Video views

Our Seize the Awkward initiative, in partnership with The Jed Foundation and the Ad Council, debuted a new public service advertisement (PSA) featuring star quarterback Caleb Williams encouraging young people to check in with their peers and have open conversations about their mental health.

Dr. Moutier appeared as a co-host and panelist with AFSP’s national media partner Audacy, for its annual I’m Listening broadcast, co-hosted by Carson Daly and psychologist Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble. The event featured artists, athletes, medical experts and others, including Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Lizzo, for a live national discussion on mental health.

Through our ongoing partnership, Audacy also helped us get the word out about National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month through a co-branded, exclusive Out of the Darkness radio station, and a Community Walks PSA radio campaign which aired across the country.

Raising Awareness Through Entertainment

Our partnership with multi-platform audio content and entertainment company Audacy continued this fall with internal trainings provided by AFSP for Audacy staff and on-air talent on how to talk safely about suicide and take care of themselves while doing so.

AFSP was also the sole beneficiary for Audacy’s We Can Survive concert at the Hollywood Bowl in October, which this year featured artists including Alanis Morissette, Halsey, Garbage, OneRepublic, and Weezer. Our Los Angeles chapter helped support an interactive activation using our key campaign artwork and giving guests the opportunity to share messages of hope and support. The event raised over $750,000 for AFSP, helping us continue our important mission.

We also worked behind the scenes this year, providing guidance on safe storytelling around suicide and mental health for entertainment platforms including Netflix, HBO, Viacom/CBS, NBC/Universal, and This American Life.

Cara Levinson Volunteer Spotlight

Public Relations Media Roundtables

AFSP educated national journalists on ethical and responsible reporting on suicide with two Media Roundtable events featuring Dr. Christine Yu Moutier, and hosted by AFSP Vice President of Public Relations Maria de los Angeles Corral, and AFSP Chief Communications Officer Stephanie Rogers.

Participants included journalists and editors from The New York Times, CNN, Time, Good Morning America, Fortune, and Mashable.

Tracking Public Perception

To gain a clear understanding of how the general public view mental health and suicide prevention, we teamed with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and The Harris Poll to conduct a new national public perception survey of more than 2,000* adults in the U.S.

Building upon past surveys conducted in 2015, 2018, and 2020, this year’s results revealed that while gains have been made in valuing mental health and suicide prevention, there are not consistent societal supports for mental health care, and barriers exist such as a lack of knowledge and training about these issues and lack of affordable and accessible care and support.

What we learned will strengthen AFSP’s public education campaigns and guide the development of programs and resources the public indicates are needed to address their mental health needs and prevent suicide. The findings also affirm AFSP's current efforts to advocate for more accessible and affordable mental health care.

You can learn more – and take action – through a special website we created for the first time, that synthesizes the poll data from 2015 through 2022 and provides quick access to helpful resources for the public.

See how we measure our impact