** Photos of the award being presented available upon request. **
WASHINGTON (June 13, 2017) – On average, one person dies by suicide every eight hours in the state of Missouri. To create awareness and honor those working to prevent this tragic loss of life, volunteer advocates from the three Missouri chapters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention presented Senator Jill Schupp, who represents the 24th Senate District in Missouri, with their national State Award at the annual Allies in Action Awards dinner on Tuesday, June 13 in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Court Hotel. Senator Schupp was recognized for her leadership in suicide prevention and mental health.
“Senator Schupp is a true advocate in Missouri working tirelessly for the citizens of the state who have mental health needs. We are proud to present her with this prestigious award which she has earned through her hard work and dedication. Her continued leadership makes her a lifesaver and ally in AFSP’s mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said John Madigan, vice president of public policy for AFSP.
Senator Schupp has made mental health a priority, including sponsoring SB 328 in 2015 and SB 646 in 2016. Provisions within SB 646 were ultimately signed into law, now requiring that Missouri school districts adopt youth suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies and encouraging suicide prevention training for licensed educators statewide. She also recognizes the need for regular training for health professionals in suicide assessment, treatment, and management, as made evident by her leadership in moving SB 490 forward during the 2017 session.
Over 200 advocates from AFSP, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, were present to acknowledge the work of this life saving champion. The advocates were in town for four days to meet with their members of Congress to encourage them to invest in mental health and suicide prevention. The awards program included volunteers who have lost loved ones to suicide or who have their own lived experience with a suicide attempt, along with mental health professionals, suicide prevention allies, members of Congress and their staff, advocacy groups, and other leaders in the field.
Suicide in Missouri
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death overall in Missouri. For people aged 10-24 in Utah, it is the third leading cause of death. For those aged 25-34, it is the second leading cause of death. On average one person dies by suicide every 8 hours in the state.
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