ALBANY, NY (May 1, 2017) – Someone dies by suicide every five hours in the state of New York. To help prevent this tragic loss of life, volunteer advocates from the New York chapters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are visiting the state capitol on Tuesday, May 2 to encourage their legislative leaders to support proposed bills including the Suicide Prevention Materials, A6718/S804, the Veteran Mental Health and Suicide Prevention A7233/S4642, the Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, A7225, and the Collegiate Suicide Prevention Program S3080. The volunteers will also be thanking legislators for supporting Mental Health Education, A03887B.
“We come to Albany to advocate for suicide prevention because we know that suicide prevention efforts are effective in saving lives,” said Ann Morrison, AFSP Long Island Area Director. “With support for education and training with targeted efforts to those at risk, we can reduce the suicide rate and offer hope.” This is the third time AFSP is hosting a State Capitol Day in New York. Ms. Morrison is part of a national movement 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.
Educating students to recognize signs and symptoms of suicide risk in themselves and others and encouraging them to seek treatment is a best practice of all school and community-based youth suicide prevention programs. If passed, A6718 would amend the Mental Hygiene Law and Education Law to require the Office of Mental Health and the State Education Department to identify or develop materials for educators on suicide prevention in school-aged youth and requires the materials to be available on the State Education Department’s website. It would also amend the law to state that instruction on suicide prevention may be included in the Health Education provided to all secondary school students and shall be taught by certified health education teachers.
This legislation would create a veterans’ mental health and suicide prevention task force to study current mental health practices and suicide prevention efforts and recommend the best to the state.
According to the NYS Office of Mental Health, Suicide Prevention Office, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among Latina adolescents in NYS. Latina teens also attempt suicide at a higher rate than any other youth group. Lack of access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services is a large contributing factor to Latina teen suicides and may impede proper treatment. If passed, A7225 would establish a Latina adolescent suicide prevention advisory council within the Office of Mental Health. This Advisory Council would determine appropriate services and resources needed to address the needs of Latina adolescents at risk of suicide.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. If passed, S3080 would amend the current education law to require public and private colleges and universities to provide students with information about depression and suicide prevention resources available on campus. The suicide prevention programs available to students may include workshops, seminars, discussion groups and film presentations.
Mental Health Education, A03887B
The advocates are thanking their representatives for supporting Mental Health Education, which was signed into law in 2016, clarifying that mental health will be included as a part of overall health education.
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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