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Suicide Prevention Advocates Gather in Montgomery

3 Mar 2020 — 2 min read

BY AFSP

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Suicide Prevention Advocates Gather in Augusta to Urge Increased Access to Mental Health & Substance Use Care

              Contact: Tracie Blackmon (tracieblackmon61@gmail.com), 205-706-7123

Suicide Prevention Advocates Gather in Montgomery

MONTGOMERY, AL (March 3, 2020) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the eleventh leading cause of death in Alabama. On Tuesday, March 10, advocates from the Alabama Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will meet with lawmakers to urge their support of future legislative efforts to: train mental health and primary care professionals in suicide assessment, treatment, and management; expand Alabama’s mental health parity protections and strengthen enforcement of parity laws; and require colleges and universities to provide suicide prevention and mental health resource information to all students, faculty, and staff.

“Alabama ranks 46th in the United States for access to adequate mental health care. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for Alabamians ages 10-34. Suicide prevention laws and education programs are more critical now than ever if we are going to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide and mental health in our state,” said Tracie Blackmon, AFSP Alabama Chapter Public Policy Chair.

The AFSP Alabama 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 Alabma Chapter 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.

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