Suicide Prevention Advocates Gather for Day on the Hill
FRANKFORT, Ky., Feb. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the eleventh leading cause of death in Kentucky. On Wednesday, February 5, advocates from the Kentucky Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will join the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group and the Suicide Prevention Consortium of Kentucky as part of the 2020 Suicide Prevention Day on the Hill.
Advocates in attendance will meet with lawmakers to urge their support of HB 153 [Moser], which would require the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to establish and administer the Kentucky Mental Health First Aid Training Program. Advocates will also ask lawmakers to prioritize increased access to and funding for suicide prevention crisis lines in the state and urge their support of SB 42 [Harper Angel], which would require student identification cards issued to middle school, high school, and college students to contain the contact information for a national suicide prevention hotline and other crisis services.
"Suicide prevention is everyone's responsibility, including our elected officials. Advocating and using our voices to spread education and awareness can go a long way in changing the landscape of how mental health is seen in our state. Our stories have the ability to make an impact and save lives across Kentucky," said Megan Cole, AFSP Kentucky Area Director.
The Suicide Prevention Day on the Hill is a special day for all who have a connection with or a personal story around the topic of suicide. Attendees will meet with their legislators 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 Kentucky Chapter advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will visit state capitols across the United States in 2020 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to legislators and their staff. AFSP volunteers will urge state lawmakers to be the voice for the thousands of residents across the state affected by mental health conditions and suicide each year.
To learn more about AFSP's advocacy efforts, visit here: https://afsp.org/our-work/advocacy/.
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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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention