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Suicide Prevention Advocates Meet with Lawmakers in Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn., April 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the 12th leading cause of death in Connecticut.  On Monday, April 29, advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the largest suicide prevention organization in the United States, will arrive at the state capitol to urge lawmakers to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health for all Connecticut residents, including support of HB 6201 & HB 6229 requiring the public school health curriculum to include education on mental health issues, and HB 7125 that would expand and strengthen mental health parity requirements.  

"Quality mental health legislation helps save lives. AFSP Connecticut's advocacy team works to connect with and educate state legislators about mental health and suicide prevention programs that work. I am passionate about suicide prevention because many years ago I was in a suicidal crisis. Fortunately, I was able to get immediate help from a caring person who knew just what to do. I advocate for suicide prevention training and research programs so that people across Connecticut will know the best ways to help those facing suicide. I want Connecticut to be a place where no deaths by suicide happen," said Bob Flanagan, AFSP Connecticut Chapter Board Member.

The Connecticut 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 public health problem. Advocates hope that by sharing their stories, they will help legislators understand that state investments in mental health and suicide prevention can save lives.  

AFSP Connecticut 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/.

On average, 129 Americans died by suicide each day in 2017, and upwards of 90% of those individuals 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 Connecticut 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, 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