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American Foundation For Suicide Prevention

Rating: 2.27 stars   15 reviews

Nonprofit Issues (NTEE):

Health, Medical Research, Mental Health, Mutual & Membership Benefit

Address:

120 Wall Street - 29th Floor New York NY 10005 USA

Mission:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide.

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(212) 363-3500

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Reviews for American Foundation For Suicide Prevention

Rating: 1 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I stumbled upon this charity after I lost my 12 year old son in 2003. I started volunteering for them as a volunteer at the Out of the Darkness Walk at Kensington Park in Michigan. I soon was chairing the event and also as a coordinator for the Survivor Outreach Program, helping the national office with interviews for potential volunteers for the program, and sitting on the board. After struggling to keep the board "afloat" (15 years exactly) we were in a position to hire a director and start spending money on local programs. Our board was in the red at the time my husband and I took over and after years of hard work, improving our walks to net out over $100,000 a walk, we increased our bottom line to $300,000. We hired the director and thought that things were going to start changing and programs were going to be implemented. It soon was obvious that AFSP was not really interested in "keeping the money local" and investing in local programs, all the walks were just "fundraising" and the chapter was spending time investing in fundraising, not people.
When I was chairing the walk, I would receive many phone calls, or emails about not wanting to ask their friends and family for money, but they wanted to walk. I was told it was a fundraiser, not charity....not charity???? This was an event that was supposed to help families heal??!!! If you are interested in a Michigan based suicide prevention organization, there are plenty to pick from. Do not give your money to this one.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I find it disappointing to see negative reviews for this organization. We are all human and the vast majority of people that “work” for AFSP are actually volunteers with their own stories of loss or personal struggle. These events and walks can be just as painful and emotional for all of us. However, these reviews are intended to be on an entire organization and its mission and not on an interaction that one may have had with an individual person or volunteer.
Research, advocacy, education and loss & healing programs require money, there is no way around it. The amount of time, effort, compassion and dedication put into continuously moving the needle forward in the field of Suicide Prevention, by both Staff and volunteers, is nothing short of heroic.
I have been a volunteer and staff for AFSP. I have seen both sides and I know how much each and every person gives of themselves. AFSP is a unique organization in that each chapter has very few staff (if any) and it is the volunteers that truly help keep things running. If you want to see more programming in your community- volunteer! Bring it to your schools, your places of work, your colleges! Suicide Prevention relies on ALL of us to make a difference.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

i suffered from suicidal thoughts and attempts, a couple of relatives died by suicide, friends...and it hurts me that families and friends and strangers notice the danger signs more often than not but prefer to ignore because of many reasons, not realizing what they are doing. it hurts that so many veterans (and some presently serving ) kill themselves. educating helps! and necessary.....please help, every little bit helps! you too can help saves lives with your donation. and thank you

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

I was a volunteer board member for a couple years. I'm a survivor of suicide loss. I was stunned at how fast the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Area Director and other national leaders and local volunteers turned from welcoming me, into pressuring me to give and raise money and a lot of free labor. I was asked to solicit money from a 20-year old who just lost her best friend to suicide--not to mention my own family and friends who they wanted money from year after year. What really spoiled the AFSP for me was going to their national conferences, seeing how decked-out they are and knowing that their executives get paid over $300,000 per year!!! All this and not any programs of quality in my community. I say this now to anyone thinking of donating or volunteering with the AFSP: you deserve better and there are better suicide-prevention organizations doing real work out there.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

I came upon AFSP 9 years ago when I lost 2 people in the span of 2 weeks. My life changed forever when I participated in that years overnight walk. I've been walking and raising awareness ever since. I also have been raising money, but that has never been the focus of AFSP. Raising awareness to help fight the stigma of mental illness and letting people know that they are not alone is the focus. In 9 years, I've watched AFSP build what I describe as a movement across 50 states and around the world. I've also watched and participated as they have fought on the Federal, State, and Local level to pass laws to help people who struggle and need help. I've had the opportunity to meet and speak with people in management at AFSP and always get quick responses when in need. I've never been associated with a better group of people and have never seen any organization create as much change in this world as AFSP. They do all this with only 17% of donations going to expenses. Every single year I do the walk and raise awareness, I am told by at least one person that I saved their life. Multiply that by 240,000 people who walked last year and you can't even begin to imagine the positive affect of AFSP. Most of all, those 240,000 people who have all been affected in one way or another got to be with each other..Knowing you're not alone is the greatest gift people suffering can receive. Thank You AFSP.

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

40 people found this review helpful

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a multi-million dollar nonprofit whose executives are paid well over $300,000 per year, which is far above the average income for executives of charities of similar size. The AFSP draws out those who have suffered suicide loss, or those who lived through the experience of an attempt at their "Out of the Darkness Walks" throughout the country, then pump them for their story, and then press them harder and harder to raise money, money, and more money. It becomes worse the longer you work with them. As a volunteer and chapter board member, after I donated and raised many thousands of dollars and after my chapter raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, AFSP staff offered just one pathetic PowerPoint presentation in our community. The AFSP does not even run a suicide lifeline or any support group! Your money and time are better spent on local organizations that actually perform suicide prevention functions, not one like the AFSP that just profits off your loss. And as for the "research" the AFSP claims it funds, you're better off donating to organizations that actually do consistent and credible research in the area of suicide prevention, such as The American Association of Suicidology (http://www.suicidology.org) or the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org).

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2016

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

I've been wanting to volunteer somehow to help mental illness and suicide. I came across a walk coming up in my area by AFSP. I was planning on signing up but my gut told me to Google this agency and I'm glad I did. The stories I read here are sad. I'm not going put my money and time into an agency that won't help local communities. Thanks for the reviews.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

I was rudely dismissed by a volunteer in November at the AFSP walk in Atlanta Georgia. The volunteers and staff would gladly take my money , but were by no means interested in answering questions. A stranger, or in this case, a volunteer or staff member could have easily been responsive about such a sensitive subject. Sometimes responding to a stranger can be the difference between life and death and anyone working with this organization should know that. I urge you not to give to AFSP Georgia.

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

21 people found this review helpful

Found ourselves in this world 4 years ago and have worked with a local organization that provides many services and support. This group merely operates to raise funds from the walks, to generate more funds for more walks. And they suck all the money. I don't get it, other than people feel like they're helping somehow. They're not.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

31 people found this review helpful

We've raised over $85,000 in 5 years for this organization. We share the same story as the others; we can spend money on the AFSP products but not for important programming for our community. Our organizing group has decided to do our own community walks and fundraising. So far we've been able to win a grant for suicide training for teachers and get State legislation passed to require teachers to take the training.

 
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Review from Guidestar