In 1987, a small group of caring individuals had a vision: establish a private source of support for suicide research and education, and essential suicide prevention efforts could be sustained into the future. These founding families-each of whom had lost a someone to suicide-joined with scientists to create what today is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, or AFSP.
Many of our original founders were concerned about an alarming rise in youth suicide over the previous four decades. During this period, the suicide of young men had tripled while for young women it had doubled. Suicide is currently the third leading cause of death among young people age 15 to 24. The highest overall rates of suicide are for adults age 40 to 59.