About Our Chapter

Welcome. We are the South Carolina 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.

Please join us in South Carolina each fall for these AFSP signature events -- the Out of the Darkness Community Walks in Charleston, Columbia, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach and Spartanburg -- and the International Survivors of Suicide Day conference in November.  For more information about AFSP programs and South Carolina Chapter activities, please check Upcoming Events.   

AFSP is making progress in determining why suicide occurs and how best to prevent it. Since 2008, the AFSP Research Grants Committee has recommended 64 new projects for funding. Collectively, these grants represent a commitment of $4.7 million.Through this grants program, AFSP maintains its position as the leading private supporter of suicide prevention research. Funds for research are made possible in part by AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Community walks.

To reduce the stigma associated with depression and suicide, education projects continue to be implemented to increase awareness about prevention, warning signs and the psychiatric disorders most often responsible for suicide.  Survivors are being helped in healing through access to information sought in the wake of loss and by being empowered to become active in suicide prevention.

The Board of Directors is dedicated to increasing suicide prevention efforts in South Carolina. To this end, we reach out to work collaboratively and productively with other organizations and institutions. Our diverse members represent the professional domains of mental health, law enforcement, business, media, education, social work, research and research evaluation.  Most members have been touched by suicide, either personally or professionally. Several board members are available for educational presentations to community groups and organizations. Board meetings are held in February, April, June, August, late September and December. New board members are installed at the Annual Meeting held in December.  

South Carolina Chapter 2014 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Vanessa Riley, Chair

Monica McConnell, Ph.D., President

Tom Robinson, Treasurer

Lucinda Davis, Secretary

Meera Narasimhan, M.D., Scientific Advisory Board Member

Board of Directors 

Keith  Asbill

Frank Barron

Melissa Craft

Lucinda Davis

John Denny

Kerry Lachance, Ph.D.

Amy LaClaire, Ph.D.

Ed Neeley, M.Ed.

Susan Parlier, Ph.D.

J. Eric Skidmore, M.Div.

David Stanton, J.D.

Founding Board Members

John A. Brown, Jr.

Dottie Cronise

Nancy M. Dunbar

C. Morgan Gable

Sondra Keller, M.D.

Michele Lyerly

Meera Narasimhan, M.D.

Joel D. Philp

Helen Pridgen

J. Eric Skidmore