NEWS PROVIDED BY American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 14 Jul, 2023

NASSAU, Bahamas, July 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — With a keen emphasis on collectively addressing suicide prevention and the mental health challenges that are a contributing factor, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) have entered into a two-year partnership. The formal signing and announcement of the partnership took place at the Dr. Moses C. Norman, Sr. Leadership Conference, which convened at Atlantis Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas, on July 13, 2023, at Noon EST.

According to the CDC, the number of suicides in 2021 rose by 4.79% from 45,979 in 2020 to 48,183, making suicide the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.  During this period, the suicide rate for Black males increased by 11%, the second highest increase by demographic and gender group. Between 2018 and 2021, increases in age-adjusted suicide rates were highest amongst Native Americans (26%), with Blacks (19.2%) and Hispanics (6.8%) also evidencing significant increases. Specifically, between 2018 and 2021, the largest increase (36.6%) for Black people was seen in people aged 10-24.

42nd Grand Basileus, Ricky L. Lewis shared, “With over 200,000 college-educated members, this alliance speaks to the unseen needs of our members and their families. This issue is of tremendous concern in the Black community. This collaborative effort with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will save countless lives for years yet to be seen.”

“We are honored to be a trusted partner with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. Through this partnership, we will collaborate to prioritize mental health and suicide prevention in Black communities nationally and at a grassroots level through our collective chapters. It’s more important than ever to deepen awareness and make help truly accessible and equitable,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia.

In collaboration with AFSP, Omega Psi Phi’s International Medical and Health Affairs Committee will soon announce specific measures and initiatives to support those struggling, people interested in helping their communities, and survivors of suicide loss. AFSP’s signature Out of the Darkness Walks and culturally relevant educational programming reaching Black communities through faith-based channels will be central to collaboration conversations.