augusta free press news

Robert Gebbia: Make Project 2025 a success

afspwarningsigns300As we head into National Suicide Prevention Week (September 5–11), I am reflecting on where we were just a year ago, and the progress we’ve made since last year across all areas of our work — from our investment in research, to the growth of our advocacy and educational programs, to the increased support for our cause nationwide. Collectively, we are amplifying the conversation about suicide, and I’m encouraged to see our partners, supporters and those impacted by suicide raising their hands to join us in the fight to prevent suicide.

Today, AFSP is taking another big step. We are putting Project 2025 to work toward achieving our bold goal of reducing the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. Using a dynamic systems model designed for AFSP by CALIBRE Systems and with input from top minds in the field, we have found several critical areas that have the potential to save the most lives, the fastest.

Examples include identifying people at risk in large healthcare settings (such as during a primary care visit), providing them with an evidenced-based intervention and better follow-up care. Similarly, we can improve the identification of people at risk through universal screening in emergency departments, and providing them with a short-term intervention like Safety Planning and better follow-up. And we can educate individuals who purchase a firearm about suicide prevention and safe storage options.

If these actions were taken to a large enough scale, we could save thousands of lives each year.

We know that we can’t do this alone. Therefore, in the coming months we will reach out to strategic partners and collaborators to ask them to join with us to make Project 2025 a success.

Learn more about these critical areas today, and become a part of this exciting initiative. Watch the video to learn how you can get involved in Project 2025. Thank you for all you are doing to #StopSuicide.

Robert Gebbia is the CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.