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Arkansas Suicide Prevention Awareness Proclamation
Little Rock, Ark. – On Wednesday, September 6, representatives from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) gathered at the state capitol to read and acknowledge Governor Asa Hutchinson’s proclamation of September as Arkansas Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and September 10-16 as Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. ADH was joined by partners from the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council, the Arkansas Department of Education, CHI St. Vincent, the Arkansas Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Veterans Mental Health Council, Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Injury Prevention Center, a representative for Congressman French Hill, Suicide Prevention Allies, the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence, and the Arkansas Prevention Network.
In 2015, suicide was the leading cause of violent death in Arkansas. Agencies like ADH, as well as partner organizations across the state, are dedicated to reducing the frequency of suicide attempts. ADH has a Suicide Prevention Program working to provide education that encourages everyone to become knowledgeable about suicide prevention. This program promotes the 24/7, free and confidential support provided by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). In the near future, ADH will launch the ADH Suicide Prevention Call Center, allowing us to answer these Lifeline calls in Arkansas and provide additional information on local resources.
“At the department we go through a strategic planning process…to review our health statistics and trends and then to make recommendations for issues that are significant,” said Stephanie Williams, ADH Deputy Director for Public Health Programs. “When we developed our most recent plan we had significant discussions about issues like depression, substance use and suicide. There was simply no way to ignore the significance of the mind-body connection and the effect that mental, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual and environmental factors have on our physical health. As a result, we identified mental health and community wellness as a priority focus.”
If you are interested in additional information on educational programs offered by the ADH Suicide Prevention Program, please call 501-683-0707.