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LANSING, MI (April 8, 2019) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and in Michigan. On Thursday, April 11, 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 and mental health for all Michigan residents. AFSP advocates have invited all legislators and their staff to join them for lunch during the event from 11:30am-1:00pm in room 550 of the capitol building.
“More people across the country are beginning to understand and address suicide as a major public health issue. I have been inspired to do everything in my power to amplify the voices of the thousands of Michigan residents affected by suicide each year. Advocating for suicide prevention and mental health through AFSP gives me a unique opportunity to let our elected officials know that more needs to be done and suicide is preventable,” said Jim Adams, AFSP Michigan Chapter Co-Chair.
Advocates will be meeting with legislators to ask for support of: SB 41 requiring the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a Mental Health First Aid training course for Michigan educators; SB 228 establishing a suicide prevention commission within the legislative council; and HB 4051 creating the Michigan CARES (Community, Access, Resources, Education & Safety) hotline to provide 24/7 phone, text, and chat service for individuals in crisis or in need of mental health, suicide prevention, and substance use services.
The Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan 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.