Help us fight suicide
Suicide is one of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, and it’s preventable. Nine out of 10 people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental health condition, like depression, at the time of their death. Together, we can help people who struggle to seek help, improve the quality of their lives, and stop this tragic loss of life.
It is important to me because it affected me directly — I lost my own father to suicide when I was 14 years old. I volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) as a member of the board of the Maryland chapter and as the chair of the chapter’s Advocacy and Public Policy Committee.
AFSP’s mission is to raise awareness and teach our communities ways all of us can help to prevent suicide. From learning the risks and warning signs of suicide, to having an honest conversation with a loved one about seeking mental health help, we are dedicated to bringing people together to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.
The week of June 12, I and three others representing Maryland will be traveling to Washington, D.C., to attend AFSP’s annual Advocacy Forum and to tell our members of Congress how important this issue is to us. I will be joined in my efforts by volunteers from all 50 states. On Tuesday, June 14, we will visit all 535 Congressional and Senate offices to let them know how important this issue is to us and how they can help to reduce the rate of suicide in the US.
Please take five minutes right now to call your U.S. Representative and Senators at 202-224-3121, and tell them to make mental health a national priority and to fund suicide prevention research today. You can become an advocate or write to your Representative or Senator on this issue by going to our action center at afsp.org/our-work/ advocacy/action-center/
Join me in this fight to #stopsuicide. Together we can make a difference.
Sue Maskaleris, Waldorf The writer is the volunteer field ambassador and advocacy/ public policy committee chair with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Maryland Chapter.