Advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Scheduled to Meet with Lawmakers in Augusta

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Contact: Alexis O’Brien, PR Director, 347-826-3577, [email protected]

AUGUSTA, ME (February 28, 2017) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the ninth leading cause of death in Maine. On Thursday, March 2, 2017, advocates from the Maine Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will arrive at the state capitol to meet with lawmakers to encourage them to support legislation that makes suicide prevention and mental health care a top priority for the coming year. The advocates have also invited legislators and media from 2 to 4 p.m. to The Hall of Flags to learn more about AFSP’s education programs and resources for the state.

“After losing our daughter Ashley to suicide when she was just 23 years old, I encourage parents to learn the warning signs of suicide. Ashley exhibited many of the warning signs, but we didn’t know to be concerned about her or how to get help until it was too late,” said Margie Johnston, volunteer with the AFSP Maine chapter. “March 2nd would have been Ashley’s 27th birthday. I hope that by advocating for care facilities for those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide, that we can prevent this loss from happening to other families in Maine.”

This is the first State Capitol Day in Maine. Ms. Johnston is part of a larger national contingent of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting 35 state capitols across the United States in spring 2017 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to state legislators and their staff.

Warning Signs of Suicide

Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. To learn more visit: https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/.

Suicide in Maine

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-34 in Maine, and the third leading cause of death for people aged 10-14. On average one person dies by suicide every 37 hours in the state.

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, 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.

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