Contact: Cayetanna “Pepper” Zamora (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mental Health Advocates Gather in Santa Fe to Support Suicide Prevention
SANTA FE, NM (January 22, 2020) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the ninth leading cause in New Mexico. On Wednesday, January 29, advocates from the New Mexico Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will join with behavioral health advocates across the state for the annual Behavioral Health Day at the Legislature as part of New Mexico Behavioral Health Week events. Advocates will meet with lawmakers to urge their support of legislative and funding efforts that prioritize suicide prevention and behavioral health care for all New Mexico residents, including support for Senate Bill (SB) 78 which would fund suicide prevention programs for Latino youth.
“Advocacy is so important. By being an advocate I have become the voice of my loved ones lost to suicide. By advocating we help raise awareness for suicide prevention and talk to elected officials to help pass behavioral health laws, to help better behavioral health in New Mexico. In the last 4 years I have been advocating, my voice was heard, which means the voices of those we lost to suicide have been heard too,” said Cayetanna “Pepper” Zamora, AFSP New Mexico Chapter Board Member.
The New Mexico Behavioral Health Day is a special day for all who have a connection with or a personal story around the topics of mental health, substance use, and suicide. Advocates will meet with their legislators to share their stories about why they participate in this advocacy effort, giving a human face to these important public health problems. By sharing their stories, they will help lawmakers understand that investments in behavioral health and suicide prevention can save lives.
AFSP-New Mexico advocates are part of a larger national movement of grassroots advocates who will visit state capitols across the United States in 2020 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to 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. Advocates will urge state lawmakers to be the voice for the thousands of residents across the state affected by behavioral health conditions and 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 and the District of Columbia 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.