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In partnership with the Suicide Prevention Action Network of East Idaho, Mayor Rebecca Casper has issued an official proclamation designating September 11 – 16th “Suicide Prevention Week” in Idaho Falls.
Idaho Falls City Councilwoman Michelle Ziel-Dingman will read the proclamation at the Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) of East Idaho’s Regional Suicide Prevention Symposium on Friday, September 15 at 8:00 a.m., at the Idaho State University Bennion Student Union Building in Idaho Falls.
Clark Flatt, President of the Jason Foundation is the keynote speaker. The event is free. Lunch is provided by SPAN. Registration is available online at Eventbrite.com by searching for “SPAN East Idaho.” Up to six optional continuing education credits are available for all attendees.
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Idaho ranks the fifth highest in the nation for deaths by suicide. The 2015 report showed Idaho’s suicide rate was 22.19 percent per 100,000 population. The national average was 13.26 percent.
In 2016, thirty-two Idaho Falls citizens died by suicide. In Idaho, on average, one person dies by suicide every 24 hours, according to a 2017 report by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The same report concluded that suicides cost Idaho a total of $329,244,000 of combined lifetime medical and work loss in 2010, which is equivalent to an average of $1,135,325 per suicide death.
“Many groups in our area are working very hard to provide suicide prevention resources and to change the stigma associated with receiving behavioral health treatment. Community engagement and awareness of suicide prevention is imperative to create substantial change,” said Mayor Casper. “Suicide Prevention Week is an important part of this effort. My heart is heavy when I think of the many affected by loss of loved ones. I encourage the community to engage together to prevent suicide and the devastation that affects many thereafter.”
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Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.