Angela Drake lost her daughter, Brittany, to suicide in 2016. She channeled her grief into a fierce determination to help others by educating them about suicide prevention.
Angela presented a program to her local high school in South Dakota. Several days later, a young girl approached her at the mall. “Thank you,” she said. “If you hadn’t come to my school that day, I wouldn’t be here.”
Education programs are just one of the ways we are raising awareness. Our Out of the Darkness™ Walks bring visibility to the cause while creating a sense of community, and raising funds to support the fight.
After losing her mother to suicide, Dimple Patel was at first reluctant to confront what had happened. Participation in an Out of the Darkness Walk in 2014 helped her to begin a journey toward a deeper understanding, including pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology, which she received in 2019.
Our efforts to raise awareness complement our drive to #StopSuicide. James Purvis was inspired to volunteer after losing a loved one to suicide and struggling with his own suicidal ideation. Today, he is chairman of the board of our Greater San Francisco Bay Area chapter. He talks to men about the need to confront tough emotions. Compassionate leaders like James inspire AFSP’s bold Project 2025, a nationwide initiative to reduce the annual rate of suicide in the U.S. 20% by 2025.
Reducing the rate of suicide takes time. But support for those affected by suicide is something AFSP provides every day in communities across the country.
When Wykisha McKinney lost her brother in 2004, she fell into depression as she struggled to understand his death. Support from AFSP helped her to cope with her grief and enlightened her about the causes of suicide. She also learned about the importance of human connection in preventing suicide and comforting those affected by it. She continues to volunteer with AFSP to support others in her Houston community.