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Suicide Prevention Advocates to Visit Columbus

16 Apr 2018 — 3 min read

BY AFSP

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Living With Suicide Loss

COLUMBUS, OH (April 16, 2018) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and it remains the eighth leading cause of death in Ohio. On Wednesday, April 18, 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 support policies for annual suicide prevention training in public and non-public chartered schools [HB 502 & HB 503].

"Our participants are all community members that have a vested interest in preventing suicide. Each has been affected by suicide through the loss of a family member or friend, they struggle personally or they support someone who struggles with mental health. Each of their personal stories share the true impact that mental health conditions and suicide have on families, schools, the workforce and communities in Ohio. We know through research that suicide can be prevented and mental health conditions are treatable when we are informed and proactive. We hope, with the support of our community leaders, to make mental health a priority in Ohio to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide," said Russell (Rusty) Lockett, Ohio Chapter Co-Chair.

School personnel interact with children and teens daily and are therefore in a prime position to recognize the signs of suicide risk and make the appropriate referrals for help.  Annual training in youth suicide awareness and prevention will better ensure that educators have the necessary skills and confidence to intervene with youth at risk for suicide. HB 502 & HB 503, both sponsored by Ohio Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills), would specify that school nurses, teachers, counselors, school psychologists, administrators, and other personnel currently required to complete suicide prevention training under Ohio Revised Code section 3319.073 complete the training annually (vs. once every 5 years), and that the requirement be extended to employees of chartered nonpublic schools.

Suicide research is continually investigating new evidence-based practices for prevention, and AFSP funds millions in research across multiple scientific disciplines each year.  Training refreshers are therefore necessary for educators to incorporate new information gleaned from this ever-evolving research into practice.

AFSP Ohio advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting nearly 40 state capitols across the United States in 2018 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/.

Suicide in Ohio

In Ohio suicide ranks as the 2nd leading cause of death for residents ages 15-34 and 4th leading cause for those ages 35-44.  On average in Ohio one person dies by suicide every five hours, and in 2016 we lost 1,707 Ohio residents to suicide.

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, and 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.

Contact: Rusty Lockett rusty.lockett@gmail.com 513-225-7877

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