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2018 Illinois Suicide Prevention Summit to Focus on AFSP’s Project 2025

19 Sep 2018 — 3 min read



National Suicide Prevention Organization Invests in Colorado-National Collaborative to Find Path to Reduce Suicide Rate

         Contact: Steve Moore, 312-391-8056,

MAYWOOD, IL (September 19, 2018) — The Centers for Disease control has reported that the rate of suicide in the United States rose by more than 25 percent since 2009, making it the 10th leading cause of death in 2016. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has established the goal of reducing the suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. The U.S. Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration and numerous other organizations have endorsed this goal. On Friday, September 21, 2018, the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance, a state advisory board consisting of governmental and non-governmental organizations, will hold the 2018 Illinois Suicide Prevention Summit. The Summit will be held at the Loyola Health Services Campus Center for Translational Research and Education - 2160 S. 1st Avenue, Maywood, IL. A media room will be available from 12:30 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. for interviews with speakers.

This daylong conference will convene nationwide experts in suicide prevention in healthcare organizations, emergency departments and corrections systems as well as firearm safety. These are the four critical areas identified by the AFSP’s Project 2025 as having the greatest potential to reduce the rate of suicide.

“Personnel in healthcare organizations, emergency departments and corrections systems have direct contact with people with a high risk of suicide. A comprehensive approach to suicide prevention in each of these settings can save lives,” said Steve Moore, co-chair of both the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance and the Illinois Chapter of AFSP.

The keynote address will be provided by Richard McKeon, Ph.D., Chief for the Suicide Prevention Branch in the Center for Mental Health Services, of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Speakers and panel members will then discuss the screening, assessment, intervention, and follow-up that healthcare organizations, emergency departments and the corrections system can implement to prevent suicides.

Featured speakers and panel members will include: David W. Baker, M.D., Executive Vice President, Healthcare Quality Evaluation at the Joint Commission; Leslie Zun, M.D. President of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry; Brent Gibson, M.D., Chief Health Officer for the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and; Nneka Tapia, Psy.D., former Executive Director of the Cook County Department of Corrections.

A panel that includes Bill Brassard, Senior Director, Communications of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Michael Rosanoff, MPH, Senior Director of AFSP’s Project 2025, will discuss the collaboration between these two organizations to provide firearm owners with safety information. Jill Harkavy-Friedman, Ph.D., AFSP’s Vice President of Research, will provide an update on research in suicide prevention.

Project 2025

Launched in October 2015, Project 2025 is a high-impact initiative developed by AFSP, aimed at achieving the organization’s bold goal of reducing the annual suicide rate in the United States 20 percent by 2025.  Using a dynamic systems model approach based on what the evidence tells us about suicide, AFSP has determined a series of actions and critical areas to help us reach our goal. With this approach we reach across all demographic and sociological groups to have the greatest impact for suicide prevention and the potential to save thousands of lives. If we work collectively to expand the above interventions in key areas (Firearms, Emergency Departments, Healthcare Systems, and the Corrections System) – cumulatively, we can expect to save nearly 20,000 lives through 2025.  

About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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. 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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