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Mary Ann Murtha on the American Federation for Suicide Prevention of Greater Philadelphia Download

28:22 Download September 13th, 2019

Mary Ann Murtha, Chapter Board Chair on the American Federation for Suicide Prevention of Greater Philadelphia, discussed their work in battling depression, increasing mental health awareness and removing the stigma of seeking help, all to reduce suicide deaths 20% by 2015.  Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the US and everyday about 129 American’s take their own life.  AFSP engages in five key strategies, funding research, offering educational programs for professionals, educating the public on mood disorders and suicide prevention and advocating  legislative polices on resources and programming funds.  Ms Murtha spoke of her family’s loss, their son died by suicide after battling depression.  She spoke on warning signs for friends and family and encouraged everyone to ask, to open a conversation if they sense a change.  She also praised the creation of a new emergency number – 988, similar to 911 it is a 24/7 emergency resource in crisis.   She described their work with emergency responders in cases of death  by suicide, with law enforcement when dealing with persons experiencing depression or suicidal actions, their counseling services and AFSP’s campus work, including a new interactive, anonymous screening program that allows students to recognize signs of depression and ask for help.    

We talked about the upcoming OUT OF DARKNESS, 400 walks across all 50 states to raise and awareness for suicide prevention.  The greater Philadelphia walk is October 6th.  She asked us to participate, by creating a team, sponsoring a walker or joining the event ‘virtually’ online. They need volunteers, too, for the walk and for their year-round services, including counseling, manning the phones or fundraising.  

For more information go to AFSP.ORD , in the greater Philadelphia area AFSP.ORG/PHILADELPHIA  In a crisis situation call the national hotline, 988 


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