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Suicide Prevention Advocates Storm the Capitol for Change in Atlanta
ATLANTA, GA (February 14, 2019) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and in Georgia. On Tuesday, February 19, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will arrive at the state capitol to meet with lawmakers to encourage them to prioritize and support the following suicide prevention and mental health initiatives: passing the PEACH Act (Parity Ensures Access to Crucial Healthcare) enforcing mental health parity in Georgia; ensuring Safe and Supported Children by prohibiting conversion therapy or sexual orientation change efforts with minors; increasing access to data through the Georgia Student Health Survey; and prioritizing suicide prevention in rural communities.
“State Capitol Day is our advocates’ opportunity to be the voice for our fellow Georgians who have lost their lives to suicide or struggle with their mental health and are unable to speak up. One person dies by suicide in Georgia every six hours, yet we know that with proper diagnosis and treatment suicide is preventable. We want our local legislators to hear this message loud and clear and join us in the fight to support mental health and suicide prevention,” said Lydia Russo, AFSP Georgia Chapter Public Policy Committee Chair.
The AFSP Georgia 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 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 Georgia Chapter 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, one hundred twenty-nine (129) Americans died by suicide each day in 2017, and 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 Georgia 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.