Better Data Will Help Prevent Suicides in California

Advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to Meet with Lawmakers

Mar 15, 2016, 11:03 ET from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On average, one person dies by suicide every two hours in the state of California. Over twice as many people die by suicide in California annually as by homicide. Volunteers from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will arrive at the state capitol on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 to meet with lawmakers to encourage them to adopt SB877 which would require the State Department of Public Health to re-establish and maintain the California Electronic Violent Death Reporting System (CalEVDRS).

"The data collected by the California Electronic Violent Death Reporting System will reveal new insights into the circumstances surrounding suicide deaths in our state that could be used to inform suicide prevention research and community outreach efforts," said Gordon Doughty, a co-chair of AFSP's California Public Policy Committee. A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Doughty has been involved with AFSP since losing his daughter to suicide in 2004.  "By adopting SB877, the legislature will send a message that suicide prevention is and should be a priority for California."

With a clearer picture of why suicide occurs, those first responders in law enforcement and public health, as well as workplaces and school environments can work together more effectively to identify those at risk and target effective preventive services. The CalEVDRS data collected can also facilitate the evaluation of existing state-based prevention programs and intervention strategies.

The advocates are part of a larger national contingent of AFSP volunteers who will be visiting various state capitols across the United States in spring 2016 to bring best practices in mental health and suicide prevention to state legislators and their staff.

Suicide in California
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 25-34 in California and the third leading cause of death for young people aged 10-24. Suicide cost California a total of $4.2 billion of combined lifetime medical and work loss cost in 2010, or an average of $1 million per suicide death. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in California.

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, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., 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