What can corporate leaders do to reduce suicide?

Based on 2014 statistics, 117 Americans die by suicide every single day.  These deaths are preventable.

Suicide costs this country $44 Billion a year in lost productivity and medical costs alone, and the pain and suffering experienced by survivors in the wake of a suicide eludes accurate measurement.

This country loses over 42,000 lives to suicide every year.  Please consider taking any if not all of the following life-saving steps to reduce the number of preventable suicide deaths in the United States:

  • If you don’t currently provide your team members with a  way to reach out anonymously for help from a counselor integrate the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) Interactive Screening Program with your Employee Assistance Program.
  • Utilize the AFSP’s Talk Saves Lives presentation to educate your team members about the warning signs of suicide and why and  how to get help when they see them in themselves or others.
  • Encourage your team members to advocate for increased public funding to reduce suicide.
  • In the unfortunate event that you lose a team member to suicide avail yourself of the AFSP’s survivor support services as needed.
  • Until we garner enough political will to dedicate the public funding necessary to dramatically reduce the suicide rate, please support reputable, well-managed suicide awareness and prevention nonprofits like the AFSP to save lives.

Arresting the rising U.S. suicide rate and saving thousands of lives lost to this preventable cause of death are feasible goals within our collective reach.  Please join the growing number of people personally taking ownership of reducing the number of suicide deaths in this country.

Please join us in the fight to bring about the beginning of the end of suicide.

Please visit AFSP.org for more information.

One way Vice President Biden can help reduce suicide

One way Vice President Biden can help:  raise awareness about the fight to reduce suicide by meeting with the leadership of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

 

May 31, 2016
Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:
Please see below for a meeting request for Vice President Biden.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Francesco Bellafante
Dear Mr. Vice President:
Nine years after I graduated from Archmere Academy I nearly died by suicide when I was 27 years old.  Eighteen years after my suicidal crisis I am grateful to be a Philadelphia chapter board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the leading nonprofit at the center of the fight to reduce the mortality of suicide in this country.  Our mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

In a couple weeks hundreds of AFSP volunteers will visit Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers to advocate for increased federal funding for evidence-based suicide prevention programs.  The AFSP has an ambitious goal and a practical plan to reduce the U.S. suicide rate by 20% by 2025.  I am writing to ask you to please consider meeting with the leadership of the AFSP before you leave office.  Robert Gebbia, our CEO, Dr. Christine Moutier, our Chief Medical Officer, and John Madigan, our Vice President of Public Policy would greatly appreciate the opportunity to brief you on our strategy to save the lives of thousands of Americans.  If your schedule permits, a brief meeting with you on June 14th would undoubtedly energize our growing group of thoughtful, committed citizens dedicated to reducing suicide.

We are convinced that our movement is approaching a tipping point in garnering the political will necessary to halt the rising U.S. suicide rate.  Your help in raising awareness about this preventable cause of death will hasten the arrival of the day when suicide is no longer one of the top ten causes of death in this country.  Thank you for your time and consideration, and thank you for being a living example of the positive difference that one person can make in the lives of others.

Sincerely,
Francesco Bellafante
Archmere Academy Class of 1989
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Philadelphia Chapter Board Member

June 2, 2016

[I received an email response indicating that I would hear shortly about Vice President Biden’s availability to meet on June 14.]

 

UPDATE

June 16, 2016

Unfortunately Vice President Biden’s schedule on the 14th didn’t afford him the opportunity to meet with the leadership of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…  but we still have 145 days left to try to make this meeting happen!

Sincerely seeking storytelling shepherd(s)

Dear     Mr. David M. Larabell,
              Mr. Kevin Huvane,
              Mr. Ari Emanuel,
              Mr. Bryan Lourd,
              Mr. Richard Lovett,
              Mr. Patrick Whitesell,
              Mr. Brian Swardstrom,
              Ms. Tracey Jacobs,
              Ms. Sharon Jackson,
              Mr. Sam Gores,
              Mr. Jeremy Zimmer, and
              Ms. Theresa Peters

Cc:        Mr. Matt Damon
              Mr. Jeff Skoll
              Mr. Harvey Weinstein

I am writing to see if you would be open to having a conversation with me to discuss a unique and valuable storytelling opportunity for you, and how you can help hasten the coming of the day when suicide is no longer one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 1.23.40 PM

100 second teaser trailer – https://youtu.be/ItHa13dpy9I

I will send you the complete story summary by the end of business 6/27/16. (See https://medium.com/me/stories/public for a work in progress partial draft.) After developing this true story for well over a decade, I’m reaching out to all of you now because I’m confident that, after reading the summary, at least one of you will think the goal below is a sure thing.  

Receive an opening bid for committed of no less than 1 cent more than the inflation adjusted value of monies received by Mr. Matt Damon and Mr. Ben Affleck for their work in connection with the film Good Will Hunting.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Francesco Bellafante
frank talk about suicide at http://iameinstein.com
@iameinstein on Twitter

P.S.

The “brand new greatest story ever told” is about Albert Einstein.

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Update 7/8/16 

I have still not finished the complete story summary I intended to deliver by 6/27/18.  My new deadline for delivery is July 13th.

 

How you can help prevent suicide now

Know the warning signs for a suicide attempt, and get help if you see them in yourself or a loved one, friend or associate.  Click on the image below to review the warning signs and how to get help when needed.

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Advocate for the cause!  The suicide awareness and prevention movement is on the verge of garnering the political will necessary to allocate the federal funds needed to reduce the suicide rate.  Please become an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Field Advocate for the cause by clicking on the image below to join the growing number of Americans advocating law and policy makers to reduce the mortality of suicide.

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If you or someone you know is in the midst of a suicidal crisis, someone is available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, and a suicidal crisis is an emergency, so you can call 911 too.

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