Spreading Evidence-Based Education to Communities Across the Country

As we learn more from research about how we can save lives, the next step is raising awareness of what we’ve learned through our education programs, delivered by our local chapters and available in schools, workplaces, and other community settings.

Suicide prevention isn’t just about supporting someone in a moment of intense crisis. It’s also about reaching people upstream, helping them to understand how mental health is an ongoing part of all our lives, and showing them how to proactively care for their own mental health while being there for their friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.

Our education programs are designed to reach people where they are and provide them guidance for wherever they may be in their mental health journey.


increase in participation in
AFSP Prevention Education
programs since last year

Talk Saves Lives™

Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention is AFSP’s flagship education program. Available both in-person and virtually, Talk Saves Lives provides participants with an overview of what the research tells us about suicide, including the latest findings. Those who attend a Talk Saves Lives training gain an understanding of the complexities of why people take their lives, how to recognize the common risk factors and warning signs for suicide, protective factors, and how to take action if someone is in crisis.

In addition to the standard Talk Saves Lives presentation, specialized modules are available that focus on specific communities: Seniors; Workplace Settings; LGBTQ Community; Latinx & Hispanic Communities; Firearms Owners; and the Correctional Environment.

Of those who shared feedback since 2018, 85% of attendees reported feeling more confident in their ability to recognize when someone is at risk for suicide after attending a Talk Saves Lives presentation.


Talk Saves Lives participants since
the program’s launch in 2015


Talk Saves Lives events held
this year, with 25,542 participants

Helping Those at Risk

Those who are at risk for suicide – people with “lived experience,” a term that refers to someone’s experience with suicidal thoughts, a suicidal crisis, and/or a suicide attempt – deserve compassion, understanding, respect and care.

AFSP’s lived experience programs – Introduction to Supporting Those at Risk (a 60-minute presentation available both in-person and virtually) and Finding Hope: Guidance For Supporting Those At Risk – give friends, family members and other participants the tools to be there for the people they care about, while making sure to practice necessary self-care while they do so.


lived experience program

participants this year

William Floyd Volunteer Spotlight

Supporting Youth

Our education programs reflect the need to reach young people and encourage proactive mental health habits early in their lives. The More Than Sad program, available in separate modules for high school students, parents, and teachers, has taught over a million students and educators how to be smarter about mental health. It shows participants how to recognize signs of distress, how to have open conversations, and the steps that can be taken to reach or provide help.


of educators who shared feedback after attending More Than Sad reported feeling confident in their ability to recognize mental disorders and other problems that may put teens at risk for suicide

It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health and It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health highlight real stories and experiences from young people, showing how to have healthy conversations about mental health and encouraging help-seeking behavior among students.

The Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention, now in its second edition, gives educators and school administrators a comprehensive strategy for implementing suicide prevention policies in their local community.


It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health participants

This year, we launched a nationwide interactive Read-Along program for elementary-aged children, Gizmo’s Pawesome Guide to Mental Health©, in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and the United Way of CT/2-1-1 on behalf of the CT Suicide Advisory Board (CTSAB). Led by local AFSP staff and volunteers, the age-appropriate program features a small dog named Gizmo who offers guidance to children on how to recognize and cope with sad, mad and worried feelings and behaviors; know how and when to reach out to a trusted adult for further support; and make mental health a simple, non-scary part of their everyday life.


children reached through Gizmo read-alongs this year

Soul Shop for Black Churches

Soul Shop for Black Churches is a new training developed in partnership with the Soul Shop Movement and an advisory group of Black experts in the fields of ministry, suicide, mental health, community outreach and research. The new program is designed to help faith leaders – including church staff, pastors, faith-based clinicians and other lay leaders in Black and African-American churches – minister to those in their congregations who may be struggling or who have been impacted by suicide.

See how we measure our impact