BISMARK, N.D., Jan. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the eighth leading cause of death in North Dakota. On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will arrive at the state capitol to meet with lawmakers to encourage them to prioritize suicide prevention initiatives for North Dakotans including support of SB2149 requiring student training on mental health and suicide prevention for grades 7-12, and HB1262 to create a school safety and crisis hotline system.
"During State Capitol Days, our advocates create relationships with our policy leaders by telling our stories about our personal struggles or our lost loved ones to suicide. Through these relationships, our policy leaders understand the importance of mental health legislation. In this mental health movement, we are able to truly make a difference through advocacy," said Samantha Bruers AFSP Dakotas Area Director.
The AFSP North Dakota State Capitol Day is a special day for all who have a connection with or a personal story around the topic of suicide. Volunteers will meet with their state legislators and share their stories about why they participate in this advocacy effort, giving a human face to this important health problem. Advocates hope that by sharing their stories, they will help legislators understand that state investments in youth mental health and suicide prevention can save lives.
AFSP North Dakota Chapter advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting over 40 state capitols across the United States in 2019 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to state legislators and their staff. To learn more about AFSP's advocacy efforts, visit here: https://afsp.org/our-work/advocacy/.
One American dies by suicide every 11.69 minutes and 90% of those who die by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death. AFSP volunteers will urge state lawmakers to be the voice for the thousands of North Dakota residents affected by suicide each year.
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.
SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention