NEW YORK, Oct. 5, 2017 – Keith used to say the laughter of his 14 month old nephew Zach was the best medicine. Keith loved his nephew, his family, working out, geology, and the Dave Mathews Band. But on September 5, 2004, Keith died by suicide. In his memory, the Keith Milano Memorial Fund contributed a generous donation to the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This first donation, one of many planned investments in the future, will allow AFSP to help reach their bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025, part of an initiative started by AFSP under their Project 2025.
“We knew when we launched Project 2025 that it would take generous donations like this one from the Keith Milano Memorial Fund to meet our bold goal of reducing the suicide rate. It is for people like Keith, and those he left behind, that we continue our work – by investing in Project 2025 the Sprung family is contributing to helping us save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Robert Gebbia, AFSP CEO.
Keith Milano grew up on Long Island where he attended Newfield High School. He went on to the University of Buffalo, and then to Stony Brook University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Geology. After graduation, he worked as a hydrogeologist for EnviroTrac. Denise Milano Sprung, Keith’s older sister by three years, also attended Newfield High School and the University of Buffalo. Denise and her husband Larry run the Keith Milano Memorial Fund in honor of her younger brother. The Sprung family also made a personal donation to Project 2025 and have been generous contributors to AFSP for many years.
More about Project 2025
Launched in October 2015, Project 2025 uses a dynamic systems model approach based on what the evidence tells us about suicide. The model has already revealed four areas for critical action including: (1) firearms and suicide prevention, (2) healthcare systems, (3) emergency departments, and (4) justice systems. Through collaborating with other organizations, accrediting bodies, professional associations, and leaders in other industry sectors, AFSP is focusing its prevention efforts on the kinds of programs, policies and interventions in these four areas that will save the most lives in the shortest amount of time.
About the Keith Milano Memorial Fund
The Keith Milano Memorial Fund was established to help raise awareness about the devastating deadly disease that is mental illness. Keith’s spirit and laughter is kept alive through our efforts to increase awareness about mental illness and to raise money for education and imperative research. Keith often struggled with society’s perception of mental illness. Our hope is that by having the strength to say that Keith was “Bipolar” we can strip away the stigma and help others to be more open about their disease.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.