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New York, NY: April 30, 2013 – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is honoring the National Football League (NFL) with its prestigiousHumanitarian Award at its 25th annual Lifesavers Dinner on May 8th at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Troy Vincent, former All-Pro defensive back and NFL Senior Vice President of Player Engagement will attend the black-tie gala to accept the award.

In 2012, the league partnered with leading suicide prevention organizations, including AFSP, to launch the NFL Life Line, a website and crisis hotline number as a resource for former and current players, their family members, and all league and team employees.  The website includes an anonymous and confidential self-check quiz and online chat that allows individuals to interact with trained professionals.  The website also lists important information about depression, suicide warning signs and features videos from former players encouraging those in distress to “make the call” for help.

“We know that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is by encouraging those who are struggling with a crisis or feeling depressed to seek help, but too often many people fear reaching out because of shame or embarrassment or because they just don’t know where to turn,” said Robert Gebbia, executive director for AFSP.  “This is why the NFL Life Line is so important. It provides a confidential support system specifically for the NFL family.”

Additionally, the NFL is being recognized for its generous support of neurological research that will help in understanding the impact of traumatic brain injuries on mental health.

Actress, author and mental health advocate Mariel Hemingway will emcee the dinner.  Other honorees include the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Food Network’s Melissa d’Arabian for their efforts in preventing suicide and raising awareness. AFSP will also present its Research Awards to Drs. Jules Angst and Maria Oquendo, two of the world’s leading researchers, whose studies have had a major impact on our understanding of mood disorders as risk factors for suicide.

The annual Lifesavers Dinner helps fund innovative research, evidence-based educational programs and advocacy initiatives, as well as support services for people impacted by suicide.

About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:           

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education, and advocacy as well as reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.  Learn more at www.afsp.org.

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