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Core Spaces Teams Up with AFSP and CHRISCROSS Foundation To Bring Suicide Prevention and Mental Wellness Education to Nationwide Network of Student Housing

Partnership with CHRISCROSS Foundation Empowers American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to Educate Core Spaces Staff and Property Residents About Mental Wellness and Identifying Community Members in Crisis
Core Spaces’ Residents in College Markets Across the Country to Have Access to Potentially Life-Saving Educational Programming and Community Assistance

CHICAGO, IL. — Tuesday, April 27, 2021 — Today, Core Spaces, one of the nation's leading developers, owners, and operators of high-quality, mixed use properties in educational markets, has announced a strategic partnership with the CHRISCROSS Foundation and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to deliver a first-of-its-kind series of intentional programming and initiatives focused on empowering both the mental well-being and health of off-campus college students, as well as raising awareness to the signs of a peer experiencing mental health stress. This programming, debuting at the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, will be implemented across Core Spaces’ nationwide network.

The pandemic has brought about an immense amount of stressors for college-aged students. In a 2020 survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation, 56 percent of students said they were “moderately,” “very,” or “extremely” concerned about their mental health. To ease this strain on mental wellbeing, this new partnership taps the educational experience of AFSP’s nationwide community of chapters to bring the organization's mission of creating a culture that’s smart about mental health to college housing. The partnership allows AFSP to provide dedicated programming to Core Spaces’ residents at key moments, such as move in, academic testing periods, and other transitional moments that may trigger a rise in suicidal ideations, drug abuse, and other barriers to positive mental health.

As part of this partnership, AFSP will train Core Spaces’ onsite community staff on how to identify residents in crisis and how to respond; while partnering with Core Spaces to provide engaging educational opportunities for both student-residents and staff, such as Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention and It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health; and will provide AFSP resources that Core Spaces can integrate throughout their properties so that residents in crisis have numerous access points for help. Core Spaces will also work with AFSP and local universities to coordinate awareness-focused Out of the Darkness Campus Walks in all of their residential locations, as part of a continued and ongoing awareness campaign.

As part of the partnership, the CHRISCROSS Foundation, founded by Core Spaces’ Experiential Director Richard Lasek and his family in honor of his late brother, Chris Lasek, whom his family lost to suicide, will engage Core Spaces residents through the promotion of AFSP’s nationwide Out of the Darkness Campus and Community Walks wherever Core Spaces has an institutional presence. With Core Spaces’ support as a corporate partner, the CHRISCROSS Foundation plans to raise addiction support, mental health and suicide-prevention awareness among university-age students by funding the work of advocates and organizations, like AFSP, as well as helping individuals and families care for their struggling loved ones by providing financial assistance for crucial, life-changing recovery programs that may have previously been out of reach.

“Loving and caring for someone who struggles with addiction and mental health issues can be a roller coaster ride,” says Richard Lasek, Founder of the CHRISCROSS Foundation and Core Spaces’ Experiential Director. “You don’t learn about these experiences in school, and there is no playbook on how to handle it. In honor of my brother, CHRISCROSS Foundation was founded to assist those struggling to help a family member, a friend, or themselves overcome these obstacles. Through the foundation’s partnership with Core Spaces and AFSP, I’m proud that we are building intentional communities centered around wellness, while making sure that those who need support, receive it.”

“It’s so important to begin the conversation about suicide prevention as early as possible, that's why a partnership with CHRISCROSS and Core Spaces is so valuable,” says Meredith Henning, AFSP’s Senior Manager for the Out of the Darkness Walks. “This partnership is unique because AFSP usually coordinates with universities on a one-on-one basis, whereas our partnership with Core Spaces allows us to bring educational programming everywhere where AFSP and the company crossover — which is 160 college markets. This incredible reach will spark so many important conversations and engage so many new individuals, as part of our nationwide Out of the Darkness campus walks.”

“As Core Spaces continues building communities across the country, we are committed to building emotionally intelligent and resilient communities,” says Marc Lifshin, Founder and CEO of Core Spaces. “Our support of the CHRISCROSS Foundation brings awareness to the intersection of addiction, mental health, and suicide prevention. I’m proud that Core Spaces is in a position to empower such a large network of communities with the tools needed to take care of their mental wellbeing.”

“Suicide is among the leading causes of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 and a partnership with an organization with a network like Core Spaces allows us to bring critical educational and awareness initiatives directly to college-age students who may be going through mental health challenges — and it will save lives,” says Courtney Collins, ASFP Regional Director for the Greater Chicago Area.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals 15 to 24,” says Courtney Collins, ASFP Regional Director. “A partnership with an organization with a network like Core Spaces allows us to bring critical educational and awareness initiatives directly to college-age students who may be going through mental health challenges — and it will help save lives.”

If you or a loved one is in crisis, visit, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifelines 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), or text TALK to 741741.

Media Contact:
Katy Darnaby