Contact: Leigh Ann Raab, [email protected], 504-220-6100
Advocates Visit Baton Rouge to Urge Lawmakers to Strengthen School Suicide Prevention Efforts
BATON ROUGE, LA (May 20, 2019) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the eleventh leading cause of death in Louisiana. On Tuesday, May 21, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will arrive at the state capitol to urge lawmakers to prioritize suicide prevention initiatives for all Louisiana residents, including support of HB 53 that strengthens the suicide prevention training required for certain school employees and requires schools to print the United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s teen text hotline number on student ID cards.
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10-19 in Louisiana. On average, we lose one young Louisianan in this age group to suicide every week. AFSP applauds the efforts of the Louisiana legislature in making suicide prevention a priority and taking steps to save the lives of Louisiana youth,” said Ken Brown, Field Ambassador with AFSP Louisiana.
The AFSP Louisiana State Capitol Day is a special day for all who have a connection with or a personal story around the topic of suicide. Volunteers will meet with their state legislators and share their stories about why they participate in this advocacy effort, giving a human face to this important public health problem. Advocates hope that by sharing their stories, they will help legislators understand that state investments in mental health and suicide prevention can save lives.
AFSP Louisiana advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting over 40 state capitols across the United States in 2019 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/.
On average, 129 Americans died by suicide each day in 2017, and upwards of 90% of those individuals had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death. AFSP volunteers will urge state lawmakers to be the voice for the thousands of Louisiana residents affected by suicide each year.
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, 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.