Suicide Prevention Advocates Descend on Boise to Encourage Lawmakers to Implement the State Suicide Prevention Plan - Stage 1

Feb 24, 2016, 08:03 ET from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

BOISE, Idaho, Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each year in the United States, suicide claims over 40,000 lives – more than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. On average, one person dies by suicide every seven hours in Idaho. On Thursday, February 25, 2016, volunteers from the Idaho chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will join advocates from the Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, The LiveWilder Foundation and SPAN Idaho to meet with lawmakers and encourage them to focus on four key strategies within the Idaho Suicide Prevention Plan.

"A strong collaboration with our partners and legislators throughout the state will ensure smart public policies that will save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide," said Carmen Stanger, AFSP Idaho chapter chair. "It is imperative that we begin implementing the top four priority strategy areas of the HQPC implementation plan. As the nation's largest private funder of suicide prevention research, AFSP sees these four areas as critical steps to save the most lives."

In 2015, the Idaho Legislature charged the Health Quality Planning Commission to prepare an implementation plan for the Idaho Suicide Prevention Plan in SCR 104. In response, the HQPC and suicide prevention leaders in Idaho developed 12 implementation strategies. AFSP Idaho along with the other state suicide prevention and mental health groups chose to actively support four of the 12 implementation strategies as the top priorities for the state of Idaho to begin work, including:

The Four Recommended Strategies:

  1. Creating an Office of Suicide Prevention for the state of Idaho.
  2. Training for youth suicide prevention and mental health awareness – the proposed HQPC plan will reach 50% of public high school students in Idaho in the next five years.
  3. Funding Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline – the proposed HQPC plan requests 60% funding from the state and 40% from the private sector.
  4. Increasing the public's awareness and understanding of suicide and mental health.

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.

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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention