[New York] May 16, 2023 — The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s leading suicide prevention organization, is launching a powerful campaign, “Talk Away the Dark,” to prompt conversations about suicide to save lives. The campaign targets 26-70 year-olds and shows the impact of simple, direct dialogue about suicide and how to initiate those conversations when they are more important than ever. In 2021, 48,183 died by suicide, an increase of 4.79% from 2020.
Research shows that suicide is preventable. The more we openly, honestly, and directly talk about suicide, the more we can help to prevent it.
The campaign anchor is a public service announcement (PSA) produced by TBWA\Chiat\Day New York through a pro bono partnership with AFSP. It depicts a daughter having brave conversations with her father as she recognizes in him common warning signs of suicide. The PSA ends with the daughter asking her father directly about suicide, bringing him back from the shadows and into the light. Its message is clear: we can’t begin to address suicide if we don’t take the first step and start the conversation.
“In the past several years, we have made tremendous progress in our openness surrounding mental health. However, many people are still unsure about what to do when someone they know is struggling with their mental health,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “Our campaign is a powerful reminder that we all have the ability to help.”
"I have experienced loss from suicide, so our work on this is incredibly meaningful to me," said TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Chief Creative Officer Amy Ferguson. "To partner with AFSP and put the talent and efforts of our agency to use on such an important issue is so incredibly rewarding."
AFSP will be hosting a virtual event on its Instagram channel with experts at 4 p.m. ET on May 16 to discuss best practices for having important mental health conversations with loved ones. The PSA will appear nationwide across broadcast, digital, social, and print and it connects with Spanish-speaking communities, offering translated resources.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. 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.
Media interested in the PSA please contact [email protected].