Suicide Prevention Advocates to Meet with Lawmakers in the District of Columbia

Contact: Trevor Bernard ([email protected])

WASHINGTON (November 6, 2019) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the 15th leading cause of death in the District of Columbia. On Thursday, November 14, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will meet with members of the D.C. City Council to urge their support of suicide assessment, treatment, and management training for health professionals practicing across the District. AFSP advocates and NCAC Chapter Board members will also participate alongside the Trevor Project in a rally hosted by Councilmember Grosso at 10:30 a.m. on the front steps of the John A. Wilson Building.

“Suicide is a national public health issue that the AFSP National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) is working to address by spreading awareness and improving suicide prevention policy changes at the state and local levels. While suicide continues to affect those residing in Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia, we hope that through our advocacy efforts change can be made,” said Alexandra Kula and Kayla Miller, AFSP NCAC Public Policy Committee Members.

The D.C. 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 Councilmembers to 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 lawmakers understand that investments in mental health and suicide prevention can save lives.

AFSP NCAC advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting 45 state capitols across the United States in 2019 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to 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 city Councilmembers to be the voice for the thousands of residents across the city affected by mental health conditions and 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 and the District of Columbia 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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