Advocates Urge Illinois Legislators to Prevent Suicides by Promoting Mental Health

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For media requests: Alexis O’Brien, AFSP PR Director
347-826-3577 or [email protected]

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

SPRINGFIELD, IL (April 12, 2016) – Research has consistently shown that nine out of 10 people who die by suicide have a mental health condition at the time of their death, often either not diagnosed or not adequately treated. On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, volunteers from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will visit Springfield to meet with lawmakers to urge their support for legislation promoting the mental health of Illinois residents.

“Through our advocacy, we hope to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of not devoting attention and resources to diagnosing and treating mental health conditions,” said Stephen Moore, co-chair of the AFSP Illinois Chapter. “By having a conversation about suicide and mental illness, we hope to encourage legislators to support effective policies that enhance public health and safety.”

The advocates are part of a larger national contingent of AFSP volunteers who will be visiting various state capitols across the United States in spring 2016 to bring best practices in mental health and suicide prevention to state legislators and their staff. This is the third year advocates are visiting Springfield.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 in Illinois. Suicide cost Illinois a total of $1.3 billion of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1.1 million per suicide death. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in Illinois.

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. 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.