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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Raises over $800,000 for Suicide Prevention at 35th Annual Lifesavers Gala

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Raises over 0,000 for Suicide Prevention at 35th Annual Lifesavers Gala

Jacoby Shaddix of the legendary rock band Papa Roach honored with Public Education Lifesaver Award, presented by music icon Chris Daughtry

NEW YORK, May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hundreds gathered at Lincoln Center on May 23, 2024, for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) 35th annual Lifesaver’s Gala. A leading force in suicide prevention, AFSP recognized and reflected on the progress made by many in the fight against this leading cause of death including those who were honored for working tirelessly to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

Thanks to the generosity of many individuals and organizations, AFSP raised over $800,00 which will fund innovative research, educational programming such as the organization’s new culturally relevant suicide program for the Black community, L.E.T.S Save Lives; advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels; as well as support for the hundreds of thousands of suicide loss survivors nationwide.

Throughout the night, five awards were presented to individuals and groups making an impact in preventing suicide. Among the honorees was frontman, Jacoby Shaddix of the legendary rock band Papa Roach. Shaddix accepted the Public Education Lifesaver Award which was presented by rock icon Chris Daughtry. The award recognized the band’s extraordinary efforts to raise funds and awareness for the cause. See the acceptance speech here.

Shaddix expressed gratitude noting:

“This recognition is not just an honor for me, but a testament to the collective efforts of so many individuals who are dedicated to bringing hope and healing to those who are struggling.” He continued: “I’m grateful to be working with AFSP on the ‘Talk Away The Dark’ campaign which guides those to have courage and help those who may not. It’s an idea that has married perfectly with our passions as artists — to allow music to validate complex feelings, provide a sense of hope, and even a cathartic experience to anyone who might need it…

In our partnership on this campaign, I am proud to say that we have brought this conversation to the attention of millions of people, and also raised more than $250,000 for suicide prevention to date; we’ve committed a portion of royalties on ‘Leave A Light On’ being donated directly to AFSP in perpetuity. We hope that number will grow for as long as possible and inspire others with influence to join the ‘Talk Away The Dark’ call to action.”

The event was hosted by content creator and comedian Tefi Pessoa, who shared that AFSP was where she turned for help when a friend expressed thoughts of ending their life. Pessoa remembered reading a line on the AFSP website that brought her solace and that was reenforced by the crowd that gathered at the gala to prevent suicide: “You are not alone.”

The other honorees were:

  • Public Service Lifesaver Award: USAA, recognized for its remarkable suicide prevention initiative, Face the Fight, launched in 2023 to unite a growing coalition of corporations, government liaisons, foundations, nonprofits, and Veteran-focused organizations to raise awareness and support for preventing Veteran and military suicides.
  • Humanitarian Lifesaver Award: David Huntsman, President and COO, Christena Huntsman Durham, Executive Vice President, Huntsman Foundation, honored for their longstanding generosity in funding leading mental health initiatives such as the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) and the Ad Council’s mental health initiative.
  • AFSP Lifetime Achievement Research Award: Barbara H. Stanley, PhD, recognized posthumously for her trailblazing efforts in the field including the development of the widely used Safety Planning Intervention.
  • Annual AFSP Research Award: Jeff Bridge, PhD, honored for his dedication to understanding youth suicide and improving outcomes and care for young people at risk for suicide.

“The gala was a powerful reminder that by coming together we can win the fight against suicide,” said AFSP Chief Executive Officer Robert Gebbia. “AFSP was proud to honor each person making a difference through research, public education, advocacy, philanthropy and by sharing their stories. The gala was an evening filled with hope. We intend to carry it forward as we continue our work to save lives.”

The event was chaired by Cara McNulty, president of Behavioral Health and Mental Well-being for CVS Health.  

Photos from the gala are available on Getty and here.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through public education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, with a public policy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico, 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, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok.  

Media interested in comment on this news are encouraged to fill out this press request form and review AFSP’s Ethical Reporting Tips

SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-foundation-for-suicide-prevention-raises-over-800-000-for-suicide-prevention-at-35th-annual-lifesavers-gala-302159698.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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