Governor Bush Proclaims March 26th Suicide Prevention Day
For Immediate Release
TALLAHASSEE- Governor Jeb Bush proclaimed March 26, 2003, as Suicide Prevention Day, a Day to Promote Education and Awareness for Suicide Prevention. In a 2001 study, suicide was the 9th leading cause of death in Florida with more than 2,290 suicide deaths reported.
“By educating ourselves on the warning signs of suicide and taking an active role in prevention efforts, we can reduce the devastation of suicide that has consumed families statewide,” said Governor Bush. “With strong parental influence and community involvement, we will reduce Florida’s suicide rate.”
Since January 2000, under Governor Bush’s leadership, suicide prevention has become an integral public health issue in Florida. Through the Florida Office of Drug Control and the Florida Suicide Prevention Task Force, which is comprised of government, academia, and grass-roots representatives, a strategy paper, Preventing Suicide in Florida, was published. The strategy outlines an integrated approach to preventing suicide and also sets a goal of reducing suicide by one third by 2005.
The Governor’s Office of Drug Control has also committed nearly $300,000 to an ongoing science-based project in Alachua and Broward counties that will identify suicide trends and provide a school-based resource kit for school administrators. This kit will include information and guidance on how to assist students who pose a risk of suicide.
“Suicide Prevention Day is an important event where we can highlight the significance of suicide prevention efforts,” said Jim McDonough, Director of the Florida Office of Drug Control. “With heightened awareness and an integrated approach, we will be able to achieve our goal of reducing suicide in Florida.”
Suicide prevention organizations and activists will have on display exhibits in the Capitol Rotunda throughout the day. Organizations represented include: Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA and Florida, Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention, Nova Southeastern University, the Beth Foundation, 211-Big Bend, Alachua County Crisis Center, Columbia Teen Screen, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, First Call for Help-211 of Jacksonville, the J. Timothy Hogan Foundation, Lifeline of Central Florida (crisis center), Suicide Prevention Coalition of Volusia-Flagler Counties, Survivors of Law Enforcement Suicide, and Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program of Pinellas County.
For more information on suicide prevention and drug prevention, please visit www.myflorida.com/drugcontrol .