Contact: Dave Muth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SACRAMENTO, CA (March 11, 2019) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the eleventh leading cause of death in California. On, Wednesday, March 13, 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 initiatives for all Californians, including support of mental health parity reporting requirements [SB 11] and expanded youth suicide prevention efforts through the creation of integrated youth mental health centers [SB 12] and county-level suicide prevention strategic plans [SB 331].
“Almost four times as many people died by suicide in California in 2017 than in alcohol related motor vehicle accidents. AFSP has Field Advocates from all regions of California that will visit the state capitol to meet with members of the Assembly and Senate and other government officials to discuss how passing suicide prevention and mental health legislation can help reduce the suicide rate in California. We are confident that through our volunteer grassroots efforts in our communities and with the support of our state leadership, together we can make a difference and save lives,” said Che Hernandez, AFSP California Public Policy Committee Co-Chair & National Public Policy Council Member.
The AFSP California 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 California 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/advocacy/.
On average, 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 California 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.