Posts Tagged ‘afsp’

On Wednesday, May 25th, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), co-chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus, along with a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues, sent a letter to the President urging the reversal of a long-standing White House policy that withholds letters of condolence from families of servicemen and servicewomen who die by suicide. In the letter, the Senators highlight the incidence of suicide among troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and reiterate that ending the policy “will provide comfort to the families struggling with the loss of a loved one, while also reducing the stigma that prevents too many men and women in uniform from seeking the mental health care they need,” (Senator Barbara Boxer). The letter is also signed by the following Senators:

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

With this latest Senate action, now is a great time for all of us to contact the White House in support of the above Senators and in support of military families across the country.

The White House may be contacted via email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by visiting After filling in the required information, under subject select “Afghanistan and Iraq” and post the following message:
I support the US Senators who recently wrote to you regarding the White House position on no condolence letters to military families who lose loved ones to suicide. Mr. President, please say no to the stigma associated with mental health issues and suicide. Please change this policy now!

The White House may be contacted via phone at 202-456-1111. When you call indicate that you want to leave a message for the President:
I support the US Senators who recently wrote to you regarding the White House position on no condolence letters to military families who lose loved ones to suicide. Mr. President, please say no to the stigma associated with mental health issues and suicide. Please change this policy now!

Please contact the White House with the above message this weekend through June 3rd, to not only show your support for your Senators but also to lend a voice to military families across the country.


Developed by Youth Health Connection (YHC), How Not To Keep A Secret (HNTKAS) is a peer leader training program designed to provide education to teens about depression and suicide, increase help-seeking behaviors, and decrease stigma associated with mental illness. The day-long HNTKAS training includes a clinical presentation, the documentary Break Free from Depression, and interactive activities.

Program Objectives
At the end of training, participants will be able to:

  1. State that depression is a treatable illness and that suicide is preventable.
  2. List a minimum of four symptoms of adolescent depression.
  3. List a minimum of three warning signs of suicide.
  4. Identify a minimum of three adults, inside and outside the school setting, with whom they would connect and talk if they are concerned about their own mental health and safety or that of relevant others.

Schools that participate in the How Not To Keep A Secret program should have policies and procedures in place to respond to students who are at risk for depression and suicide. Read more here.

This summer, Vivint’s employees are giving away $1,250,000 to help fund local charities. The best part is…you choose where all of the money goes!

Please click on the “endorse now” link below to vote for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education, and advocacy as well as to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Suicide in a school community is tremendously sad, often unexpected, and can leave a school with many uncertainties about what to do next. Faced with students struggling to cope and a community struggling to respond, schools need reliable information, practical tools, and pragmatic guidance.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), two of the nation’s leading suicide prevention organizations, have collaborated to produce this toolkit to assist schools in the aftermath of a suicide (or other death) in the school community. Both organizations have often been contacted by schools in the aftermath of a suicide death. Because neither AFSP nor SPRC have the capacity to provide customized technical assistance in these circumstances, this toolkit was created to help schools determine what to do, when, and how. It is a highly practical resource for schools facing real-time crises. While designed specifically to address the aftermath of suicide, schools will find it useful following other deaths as well. Read more here.

Federal statistics show suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents, with nearly 1,500 suicides among those ages 15 to 19 in 2007, the most recent year for which data were available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That year’s rate of 6.87 suicides per 100,000 for that age group continued a trend down from the 8.04 rate in 1999.

But a series of high-profile suicides across the country last year involving teenagers who were believed to have been victims of online bullying has helped fuel advocates’ push for prevention efforts in schools.

The Jason Foundation is calling for mandatory teacher training throughout the country. Currently, Tennessee, Illinois, Louisiana, and Mississippi require training, said Flatt, the foundation’s president. Others, such as California, have laws encouraging such training. Read article here.

Crisis HotlineFacebook Help: How do I help someone who has posted suicidal content on the site?

If you have encountered a direct threat of suicide on Facebook, please immediately contact law enforcement.

You can submit reports of suicidal content to Facebook here.

For reports in the United States, we also recommend that you contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), a 24/7 hotline, at 800.273.TALK (8255). If possible, please encourage the user who posted the content to contact the Lifeline as well.

You can view a list of suicide prevention hotlines in other countries by visiting Befrienders Worldwide and choosing from the dropdown menu at the top of the page.

We encourage you to learn about how to identify and respond to warning signs of suicidal behavior online at the following address here.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL):

  • NSPL wants people to report to Facebook first, as Facebook has the ability to provide identifying information and the process is faster if they can report all info to NSPL at that time.
  • Facebook works with NSPL once the content is reported.
  • If it is international, then Facebook works with the appropriate international organization.
  • Facebook receives the notification, then provides NSPL with all information about the user. Unfortunately, NSPL cannot comment on the process from Facebook’s end, but believes that given Facebook’s sensitivity to suicide risk and knowing that their safety team works on the weekends, NSPL believes that the process is pretty quick and that it is the most efficient and quickest method for a user to receive help.

The Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide is designed to provide accurate, user-friendly information. The Guide is not a program, but a tool that provides a framework for schools to assess their existing or proposed suicide prevention efforts (through a series of checklists) and provides resources and information that school administrators can use to enhance or add to their existing program. Read more here.

There are encouraging signs that suicide prevention is becoming a higher priority for our nation. And there are signs that a growing grassroots movement has taken hold, which offers hope for preventing this tragic loss of life.

Our challenge is clear: we must reverse the trend and reduce suicide in our country. The opportunity to do so is equally clear: we must develop the necessary knowledge, political will, resources, and programs. Because of you, our friends and supporters, there are SIGNS OF HOPE. Read report here.

275 cities around the world participated in day of healing for survivors of suicide loss on November 20th. Read article here.

If you were unable to attend, you can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website to watch the program online at no charge. View webcast here.

While this letter sounds good in theory, I do believe that actions speak louder than words. LGBT bullycides will continue as long as we are a nation that treats the LGBT community as second-class citizens. What kind of message does the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy send? What about Marriage Equality? Also, WHY doesn’t the White House send letters of condolence to families of military suicides? These are the things that need to change before I put any faith in a canned response from the White House. Show me, Mr. POTUS, don’t just tell me. Read more here.

Read President Obama’s letter here.