For Immediate Release
July 23, 2023
Contact Information


(Black PR Wire) NASSAU, BAHAMAS – 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.

 Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated is the first international fraternal organization to be founded on the campus of a historically black college. Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The founders were three Howard University undergraduates, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper, Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. With a distinct focus on community development, mentoring, addressing health disparities, and scholarship, Omega continues to address collective inequities wherever they can be found.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, including those who have experienced a loss. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through public education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and supports those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, with a public policy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

To confirm interview arrangements with OPPF, contact George Fishburne, Jr. at

For more information about Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, visit

For more information about AFSP, visit