Nation's Largest Suicide Prevention Organization Thanks Congress for Making Suicide Prevention a Priority

Statement from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's CEO Robert Gebbia on the Funding Increase of the National Violent Death Reporting System

Dec 18, 2015, 17:00 ET from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the House and Senate both voted to pass the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill which includes $5M in new funding to expand the CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System. Currently the program is funded at $11.3M and is active only in 32 states, but with this additional federal funding, the program will be able to grow to more states across the nation. NVDRS collects in-depth information on the details of and circumstances surrounding a suicide, which goes beyond the basic information collected through the CDC's National Vital Statistics Reports/Fatal Injury Report.

Robert Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation's largest suicide prevention organization, released this statement:

"Since 2010, we have been advocating for fully funding the NVDRS. Our elected officials continue to hear the voices of thousands of AFSP advocates across the nation who care about this issue. While we will continue to work toward fully funding the NVDRS which would expand the program to all 50 states, this $5M funding bump is a signal that the nation is making suicide prevention a priority. Fully implementing the NVDRS nationwide is essential to developing, informing and evaluating suicide prevention programs. AFSP continues to advocate for full funding of the NVDRS."

Created in 2002 by the CDC, the NVDRS provides states and communities with a clearer understanding of violent deaths to guide local decisions about efforts to prevent violence and track progress over time. NVDRS is the only state-based reporting system that pools data on violent deaths from multiple sources into a usable, anonymous database. These sources include state and local medical examiner, coroner, law enforcement, crime lab, and vital statistics records.

NVDRS covers all types of violent deaths—including homicides and suicides—in all settings and for all age groups. NVDRS may include data on mental health problems; recent problems with a job, finances, or relationships; physical health problems; and information about circumstances of death. NVDRS is currently collects data in 32 states and operates with a budget of $11.3M.

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.

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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention