American Foundation for Suicide Prevention comments on death of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez

Statement from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on former NFL Player Aaron Hernandez.

american foundation for suicide preventionWe recently learned of the death of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez. Based on reports, we understand that Mr. Hernandez died by suicide.  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers its condolences to his family, friends, and everyone touched by Hernandez.

While his trial might have been related to his death, it was not the only cause. There is never a single cause for suicide. Suicide is the result of many factors that come together such as an underlying mental health condition and access to lethal means. Suicidal individuals generally experience feelings of hopelessness, pain and despair. We must do more to prevent such tragic deaths through greater awareness of mental health issues, common warning signs, and effective interventions and treatments.

We know that many suicides happen around times of transition in a person’s life. Hernandez’s death represents a challenge within our criminal justice system to reach those who are incarcerated (or within other correctional populations) and may be at risk for suicide. We are evaluating this critical area through AFSP’s Project 2025, a high-impact, collaborative initiative developed by AFSP, aimed at achieving the organization’s bold goal of reducing the annual suicide rate 20 percent in the United States by 2025.

Media interested in learning more information regarding suicide, warning signs and prevention can visit our website at For insight on how to report on suicide:

If you need help right now, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.


About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbiaand headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.