Contact: Tracie Blackmon (tracieblack[email protected]), 205.706.7123
Advocates Gather in Montgomery to Be the Voice for Suicide Prevention
MONTGOMERY, AL (April 22, 2019) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the 11th leading cause of death in Alabama. On Wednesday, April 24, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will arrive at the state capitol to urge lawmakers to prioritize suicide prevention initiatives and mental health for all Alabama residents.
“Alabama ranks close to last in the nation (48th) for access to mental health care. The time to focus on our state’s mental health and suicide prevention is NOW. Together with our legislators we can improve access to care for Alabama residents and truly have an impact on our communities. My fellow advocates and I are dedicated to saving lives and preventing suicide through advocacy,” said Tracie Blackmon, AFSP Alabama Chapter Board Member & Field Ambassador.
The AFSP Alabama State Capitol Day is a special day for all who have a connection with or a personal story around the topic of suicide. Volunteers will meet with their state legislators and share their stories about why they participate in this advocacy effort, giving a human face to this important public health problem. Advocates hope that by sharing their stories, they will help legislators understand that state investments in mental health and suicide prevention can save lives.
Advocates from the AFSP Alabama Chapter are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting over 40 state capitols across the United States in 2019 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to state legislators and their staff. To learn more about AFSP’s advocacy efforts, visit here: https://afsp.org/our-work/advocacy/.
On average, 129 Americans died by suicide each day in 2017, and upwards of 90% of those individuals had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death. AFSP volunteers will urge state lawmakers to be the voice for the thousands of Alabama residents affected by suicide each year.
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, with a Public Policy Office in Washington, D.C. AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states 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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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