WASHINGTON, April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With 123 Americans dying by suicide every day, and the suicide cost to America estimated to be $93.5 billion each year (Shepard et al, SLTB, 2016), the National Council for Suicide Prevention (NCSP), the National Council for Behavioral Health, the American Psychological Association, the Cohen Veterans Network, To Write Love On Her Arms along with other leading health organizations are calling on Congress and the President to make suicide prevention a public health priority. The first National Rally to Prevent Suicide will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 21 on the West front steps of Capitol Hill.
"It's simply not acceptable that we are losing nearly 45,000 lives a year to suicide in this country," said Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Managing Director, NCSP. "We have a National Strategy, a National Research Agenda, and a National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Project 2025 to reduce suicide 20 percent by 2025, and a recent article outlining how to Change the Direction of Suicide. It's time Congress provides the resources needed to save more lives and end suicide. The NCSP is calling on members of Congress and the President to:
- Authorize and appropriate $150 million to the NIMH to support research on suicide prevention in line with the National Research Agenda.
- Urge the FDA to expedite the review and approval process for new medications to treat those living with mental health conditions.
- Enact the bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act, S. 1905 and H.R. 3931 beyond its current 8 state limit so that Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, can improve access to quality community mental health care.
- Enact the bipartisan H.R. 2345, the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2017, to ensure that people in crisis have access to comprehensive crisis services, phone hotline, chat and text, and that the quality and capacity of the crisis services meets the need.
- Invest in suicide prevention to address unmet needs in adult suicide prevention, expansion of SAMHSA Zero Suicide pilot grants to behavioral health care settings, and development of CDC pilot grants to states to implement and evaluate comprehensive community-based suicide prevention as well improve tracking for special populations.
"With one American dying by suicide every 12 minutes, it is long overdue to make suicide prevention a priority. Events like the Rally to Prevent Suicide provide us the opportunity to showcase practices like Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics that are already improving access to quality community mental health care," said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. Together we can help lawmakers understand why suicide prevention must be a public health priority."
Between 1999 and 2015 suicide claimed 604,878 American lives and an estimated 15 million more attempts. Current data indicates increases in middle-age adult suicides and in youth (ages 5-14) suicides reaching a 40 year high, compounded by 20 veteran suicides every day and additional active duty military suicides daily.
Everyone is welcome to attend the Rally to Prevent Suicide (www.rallytopreventsuicide.org; #rallytopreventsuicide) and show their support for improving the mental health of all Americans and preventing the tragedy of suicide. Hear from top leaders in the field of mental health and suicide prevention and listen to stories of hope and resilience from individuals who have struggled personally and families who have lost loved ones to suicide.
National Council for Suicide Prevention
Suicide is a national public health crisis. The National Council for Suicide Prevention, a national coalition of seven leading nonprofits working to end suicide in the United States, works to advance suicide prevention through leadership, advocacy, and acting as a collective voice for those impacted by suicide.
The National Council for Suicide Prevention
- American Association of Suicidology
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- The Jason Foundation
- The Jed Foundation (JED)
- Samaritans USA
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
- The Trevor Project
The National Council for Behavioral Health
The American Psychological Association
The Cohen Veterans Network
To Write Love On Her Arms
Donna and Phillip Satow
Contact: Dr. Dan Reidenberg
612-741-1354, [email protected]
SOURCE National Council for Suicide Prevention