Episode Thirty Four

by Gina Gillis of AFSP.org | With Your Host - Ricardo

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May 31, 2018

Episode 34 – Gina Gillis of AFSP.org

Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.

AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.  AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health by engaging in the following core strategies:

  • Funding scientific research
  • Educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention
  • Advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention
  • Supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide in our mission

Before AFSP, there was no national-scope not-for-profit organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy.

Since its founding in 1987, AFSP has:

  • Mobilized and connected tens of thousands of people who have lost a family member, loved one, or friend to suicide
  • Reached thousands of individuals who are at risk for suicide, as well as those who love and care for them
  • Attracted the participation of members of the scientific and clinical communities, who conduct groundbreaking research on suicide and its prevention with support from AFSP
  • Established local chapters in all 50 states
  • Educated hundreds of local communities about suicide and how to prevent it
  • Created a public policy and lobbying arm by merging successfully with an existing national policy organization, thus enabling AFSP to press for legislation and policies at the federal, state and local levels that advance the goal of preventing suicide
  • Substantially increased our funding from individual donors, including the thousands of highly motivated individuals who participate in our Out of the Darkness Walks
  • Educated reporters and the media about how to best cover suicide
  • Communicated with hundreds of thousands of individuals through our website, social media, brochures, speakers and efforts to generate press coverage

Time Line:

What is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention?

The ‘mental health’ stigma

Community Involvement & Connectivity

Suicide in the music community

Gina’s personal experience

Suicide is the not the answer – other oprions

Gina’s top 5 punk bands

Support from local leaders

Rapid Fire:

  • What’s been your best experience promoting AFSP?
  • Legacy or Money

Advise for young people

“Every feeling you have is temporary.”

Reaching out is a sign of strength, not weakness


Suicide among musicians and creatives is a growing issue. The stress of the industry, the lack of a support system and other factors add to the problem.Gina Gillis is the Southern Arizona Ambassador for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

This interview talks about how to get involved and where to seek solutions to mental health issues. We also talk about the events Gina is organizing and her love for punk music!


National Website

Facebook AZ Chapter

Facebook National Chapter





The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255.

TEXT HOME to 741741

(So.AZ Counties) call 844-733-9912

(Pima County) call 520-770-9909


“if you can fight your way in and out of a mosh pit, you can do anything!” – Gina Gillis