Suicide Prevention Advocates to Visit Pierre

Contact: Samantha Bruers ([email protected])   

Suicide Prevention Advocates to Visit Pierre

Pierre, SD (February 7, 2019) – Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the ninth leading cause of death in South Dakota. On Wednesday, February 13, 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 urge their continued support for mental health and suicide prevention initiatives, including SCR2 to establish task forces on the status of mental health care in the state, and SB8 to require the Department of Social Services to support the creation of a centralized, statewide resource system for crisis and disaster information, health and social services referrals, legal and financial assistance, and other related resident needs. Advocates will also be emphasizing the importance of school policies in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention as a way to boost existing K-12 school suicide prevention efforts.

“AFSP State Capitol Days allow advocates to build relationships with public officials by sharing their stories and connection to suicide and mental health.  These relationships help our policy leaders understand that suicide is preventable and through their support of mental health and suicide prevention legislation we can make a difference,” said Samantha Bruers AFSP Dakotas Area Director.  

The AFSP South Dakota 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 leading, yet preventable public 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 South Dakota 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/.

One American dies by suicide every 11.14 minutes and 90% of those who die by suicide 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 South Dakota 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, 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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