Suicide Prevention Advocates to Host First State Capitol Day Event in Salem

             Contact: Ryan Price ([email protected])     

Suicide Prevention Advocates to Host First State Capitol Day Event in Salem

SALEM, OR (February 14, 2019) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the eighth leading cause of death in Oregon.  On Tuesday, February 19, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will host their first State Capitol Day event in partnership with the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide and Lines for Life. Advocates from each organization will join together at the state capitol to meet with lawmakers to encourage them to prioritize suicide prevention initiatives for Oregon residents.

Advocates will seek support of two youth suicide prevention initiatives: SB 707 establishing a Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Advisory Committee and SB 52/HB 2765 requiring each school district to adopt a policy on student suicide prevention for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Advocates are also urging support for HB 2667 establishing an Adult Suicide Intervention and Prevention Coordinator within the Oregon Health Authority and SB 141/HB 2621 requiring the Oregon Health Authority to establish a statewide mental health crisis support access line for individuals experiencing behavioral health crises.

“Becoming a suicide prevention advocate helps to give a voice to so many who feel voiceless, and together we are able to educate those who may not have been personally impacted by suicide.  By taking our personal stories in relation to suicide loss or suicidal ideation, finding the hope within the darkness, and then sharing that hope with others who are struggling, we will save lives – including my own.,” said Angela Perry, AFSP Oregon Chapter Board Chair.

The Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon 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.

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