Welcome. We are the Western Massachusetts chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The grassroots work we do focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.
As a part of AFSP’s growing nationwide network of chapters, we bring together people from all backgrounds who want to prevent suicide in our communities. Families and friends who have lost someone to suicide, vulnerable individuals, mental health professionals, clergy, educators, students, community/business leaders, and many others energize our chapter.
"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.
While we are hopeful about the future, we also recognize the challenges we face. A recent government survey indicates that 8 million people in the U.S. seriously considered suicide last year and that 1.1 million people acted upon those thoughts by making a suicide attempt.We know that from the latest mortality statistics that suicide rate is trending upward, especially among people in the middle years of life, and that there are more that 38,000 annual suicide deaths in our country, and more than 600 in Massachusetts. And the impact of the economy, an increase in suicide among military personnel, the effects of bullying on vulnerable youth and there is a great urgency to do more to prevent suicide." said Bob Gebbia, Executive Director of AFSP.
Our Western Massachusetts Chapter strives to make a difference. We received its charter in 2006 on the heels of 2 successful Out of the Darkness Community Walks and years of providing educational and survivor programs as part of the New England Chapter. To better serve the western part of the state our volunteers organized and applied to form a second chapter in Massachusetts which serves the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin.
If you have any questions or would like more information about our programs, activities or volunteer opportunities, we may be reached at [email protected] or (413)734-9139 or 800-979-AFSP.