TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each year in the United States, suicide claims over 40,000 lives – more than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. In Florida, one person dies by suicide every three hours. On Thursday, March 19, 2015, volunteers from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will visit with lawmakers in Tallahassee during the annual Suicide Prevention Day at the Capitol. This event is being hosted by the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition, Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention and the Florida Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council, and AFSP. AFSP volunteers will be in attendance from North Florida, Central Florida, Tampa Bay, Southwest Florida, Southeast Florida, and the Florida Panhandle.
"As the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, we know the simple fact that suicide can be prevented," said Nicole Gibson, Senior Manager of State Advocacy. "We hope to give a face to this leading cause of death for our state lawmakers. Suicide affects all kinds of people from all over Florida. We need our lawmakers to make smart policy decisions that will help prevent suicide in the Sunshine State."
Advocates will be encouraging state lawmakers to make suicide prevention a priority for schools across the state of Florida, as well as urging lawmakers to support implementation and expansion of Mental Health First Aid, a national program to teach the skills to respond to the signs of mental illness and substance use.
Suicide in Florida
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 25-34 in Florida, and the third leading cause of death for people aged 15-24. 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. Over twice as many people die by suicide in Florida annually as by homicide.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention leads the fight against suicide. We fund research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has 75 local chapters with programs and events nationwide. Review our Annual Report to learn more about AFSP's lifesaving work, and join the national conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention