Contact: Tracie Blackmon, 205-708-7123
MONTGOMERY, AL (February 6, 2018) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the 11th leading cause of death in Alabama. On Thursday, February 15, advocates from 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 urge them to make access to care and coverage for mental health conditions a top legislative priority.
“Suicide is still one of the leading causes of death in Alabama. We hope that by meeting with our legislators and discussing how suicide affects ‘Alabamians’, we can help save lives and end the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness,” said Tracie Blackmon, Board Member & Public Policy Chair with the AFSP Alabama Chapter.
Alabama has the fewest mental health providers per resident in the country, having only one mental health provider per every 1,200 Alabamians. AFSP advocates will be urging their lawmakers to incentivize mental health professionals to practice in the state, particularly in underserved areas, and to expand current mental health parity laws to decrease insurance barriers to those seeking treatment.
This is the sixth State Capitol Day in Alabama. Ms. Blackmon is part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting nearly 40 state capitols across the United States in 2018 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/.
Suicide in Alabama
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Alabama and the 3rd leading cause for people ages 15-24. The Centers for Disease Control report that from 2015-2016, Alabama’s age-adjusted rate of death by suicide has increased from 14.87 to 15.7 (per 100,000 population).
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.
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