TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On average, every three hours, someone dies by suicide in Florida. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the state. On Thursday, January 14, 2016, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will visit Tallahassee to meet with lawmakers to encourage them to prioritize suicide prevention and programs that support reducing suicide in the state. AFSP is participating as part of the 14th Annual Suicide Prevention Day at the capitol. One of the top issues to be discussed with legislators will be preventing suicide among school-aged youth.
AFSP state advocates will be joined by advocates from the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition, Big Bend Hospice, the Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention, and the Florida Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council. These groups are going to encourage lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 884 [Benacquisto]/House Bill 907 [Eagle] – Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention. This legislation would require the Department of Education to incorporate two hours of training in youth suicide awareness and prevention into existing requirements for continuing education or in-service training. As part of the Suicide Prevention Day, there will be a press conference at 11 a.m. in the Lower Level Cabinet Meeting Room of the Old Capitol. Reporters are encouraged to attend.
"As a teacher and suicide loss survivor, I have been active in talking to my school colleagues about the importance of suicide prevention, and to make them more aware of the risks and warnings signs. Teachers and school faculty need adequate training to recognize signs of mental illness and encourage help-seeking behavior," said Hannah Jines of Lakeland, Florida, who is an AFSP Florida Field Advocate and a teacher. "AFSP has incredible tools, trainings, and resources for school districts, and we hope that in meeting with our Florida state lawmakers, we can work together to make this a requirement statewide. Education and research are the keys to preventing suicide."
Suicide in Florida
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 25-34 in Florida, and the third leading cause of death for people aged 10-24. Suicide cost Florida a total of $2,841,739,000 of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1,018,910 per suicide death. Twice as many people die from suicide than homicide in the state of Florida. AFSP has five chapters located in Florida. Florida's updated suicide prevention plan, Florida's Revised Statewide Plan for Suicide Prevention (2011-2015), can be found at: http://www.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/State%20Plan%20for%20Suicide%20Prevention%202011-2015.pdf.
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.
SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention