LINCOLN, Neb., March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three times as many people in Nebraska die by suicide than by homicide. To help prevent this tragic loss of life, volunteer advocates from the Nebraska chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are visiting the state capitol on Thursday, March 16th to encourage their legislative leaders to make suicide prevention a priority in Nebraska. Specifically, the advocates are requesting support for LB 348, which increases the tobacco tax with part of the revenue going to health care programming and the behavioral health stabilization fund. Advocates will also ask senators to support suicide prevention training on college campuses, and suicide prevention training for health professionals.
"Suicide is not just a faceless health issue for our society — it affects real people. We hope that by meeting Nebraskans who have been personally affected by suicide, state lawmakers will make suicide prevention a priority, an effort that will save lives," said Aileen Brady, board member with the Nebraska chapter of AFSP.
While they are visiting the state capitol, State Senator John McCollister will meet with volunteer advocates to stress the importance of advocacy in raising awareness and assisting senators in making improvements in policy, legislation and service improvements. The volunteer advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting 35 state capitols across the United States in spring 2017 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to state legislators.
Suicide in Nebraska
Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death overall in Nebraska. For people aged 15-34, it is the second leading cause of death in the state. For those aged 35-44, it is the fourth leading cause of death. On average, one person dies by suicide every two days in the state.
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. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. 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