Advocates to Stage Nighttime Display on Capitol Steps to Draw Attention to the Need to Reduce the Suicide Rate in Arkansas

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

LITTLE ROCK, AR (March 1, 2017) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in Arkansas – and it’s preventable.  At 6 p.m., Thursday, March 2, on the steps of the Capitol building in Little Rock, there will be a display put on by the Arkansas chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to draw attention to the need to reduce the suicide rate in the state.

“We hope to spread awareness and lead efforts to fight the loss of lives to suicide through education and legislative action. This display was made by family members across the state during some of the AFSP Out of the Darkness Community Walks during the fall. We will be marking the day by honoring those we have lost and supporting those who have been affected by suicide,” said Ladeana Bell, volunteer advocate and board member of the AFSP Arkansas chapter.

This is the third State Capitol Day in Arkansas. Ms. Bell 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. In 2016, the Arkansas Chapter won the “Chapter of the Year” award from AFSP at an annual conference which was held that year in Little Rock.

Suicide in Arkansas

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall in Arkansas. For people aged 25-35 in Arkansas, it is the second leading cause of death. For those aged 15-24, it is the third leading cause of death. More than twice as many people die by suicide in Arkansas annually than from homicide.

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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