Contact: Phyllis Blackwelder (email@example.com, 314-703-1600)
Suicide Prevention Advocates Gather in Jefferson City
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (February 13, 2020) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and in Missouri. On Wednesday, February 19, advocates from the Eastern Missouri, Greater Mid-Missouri, and Greater Kansas City Chapters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will meet with lawmakers and urge their support of:
SB 658/HB 2283 prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in conversion therapy with minors; HB 1820 strengthening existing suicide prevention training for educators and requiring crisis line numbers to be printed on middle and high school and college student ID cards; and SB 940 creating a legal process for Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Missouri.
“One person dies by suicide every 8 hours in our state. Missouri ranks 18th in the nation for rate of suicide. It is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24 and third leading cause of death for ages 25-34. Having lost my own son to suicide at age 23, I advocate for suicide prevention in Missouri in hopes of preventing such a tragic loss of young lives in our state,” said Linda Fehrmann, AFSP Eastern Missouri Chapter Board Chair.
The AFSP Missouri Capitol Day is a special day for all who have a connection with or a personal story around the topic of suicide. Attendees will meet with their legislators to 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 lawmakers understand that investments in mental health and suicide prevention can save lives.
AFSP Missouri advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer 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, 132 Americans died by suicide each day in 2018, 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 residents across the state affected by mental 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.