Contact: Lezlie Young (firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-534-9872)
SACRAMENTO, CA (February 26, 2020) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the 11th leading cause of death in California. On Wednesday, March 4, advocates from the California Chapters 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 for: SB 855 and SB 854 to expand access to mental health and substance use care and insurance coverage; AB 2112 to charge the Office of the Surgeon General with addressing youth suicide prevention and behavioral health; and SB 849/AB 1849 to allow for excused school absences to address student behavioral or mental health needs.
“Our annual State Capitol Day provides a tremendous opportunity for our volunteer Field Advocates to continue the discussion regarding the current challenges of mental health and the impacts of suicide across California. We understand that suicide is a complex issue and we are hopeful that through our grassroots efforts, we can support our lawmakers by continuing to deepen their understanding. Our AFSP chapters across California are making great impacts on our communities and we are letting our elected officials know how they can support the cause and save lives within their communities,” said Che Hernandez, AFSP California Public Policy Committee Co-Chair & National Public Policy Council Member.
The AFSP California 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 and helping lawmakers understand that investments in mental health and suicide prevention can save lives.
AFSP California 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/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.