The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Thanks Congressional Suicide Prevention Champions for Introducing the Suicide Prevention Act

Contact: Alexis O’Brien, [email protected] or 347-826-3577

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Thanks Congressional Suicide Prevention Champions for Introducing the Suicide Prevention Act

WASHINGTON (JANUARY 16, 2020)—On January 15, Representatives Matsui (D-CA-6), Stewart (R-UT-2) and with Senators Kennedy (R-LA) and Reed (D-RI) introduced the Suicide Prevention Act (H.R.5619/S.3198). John Madigan, senior vice president of public policy for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, today released this statement:

“As the nation’s largest organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, we would like to thank Representatives Matsui and Stewart and Senators Kennedy and Reed for introducing the Suicide Prevention Act.

This bipartisan and bicameral bill would authorize funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to partner with state and local health departments to improve the surveillance of suicide attempts and other instances of self-harm. Currently, there is no complete data about suicide attempts in the United States; this bill would enhance data collection for state and local health departments and community organizations to recognize suicide trends, intervene earlier, and save lives.

The legislation will also establish a grant program within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to fund suicide prevention programs in emergency departments to better train staff in suicide prevention strategies, screen at-risk patients, and refer patients to appropriate follow-up care.

Emergency Departments present a key opportunity to identify and treat the individuals at the highest and most immediate risk for suicide. This is a key component of AFSP’s Project 2025, to reduce the suicide rate 20% by the year 2025. As 39% of people who die by suicide make an Emergency Department visit in the year prior to their death, this bill will save lives. We urge Congress to pass this crucial legislation into law.”

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 an Advocacy office in Washington, DC, 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 FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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