Updated: Oct 6, 2019
Our goal at PA Parent and Family Alliance is to help families become active in their local communities so they can share their lived experience of raising a child/young adult with social, emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges, so policies and programs are family friendly and help our children and young adults overcome their struggles. In our effort to help families get involved we are sharing this information about an upcoming listening session by the Suicide Prevention Task Force.
If you're interested in attending but would first like some help to gather your thoughts to help you share your story or to connect with others who may attend, feel free to reach out to us. We're here to support you.
In May 2019, the Wolf Administration announced a first-of-its-kind, statewide Suicide Prevention Task Force to develop Pennsylvania’s statewide suicide prevention plan, a four-year strategy to reduce suicide in Pennsylvania and fight the stigma associated with suicide, suicide attempts, and mental health issues so that Pennsylvanians in crisis know their lives are valuable and help is available.
According to a 2018 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country and is one of only three that are on the rise. Since 1999, suicide rates have increased by 34 percent in Pennsylvania.
The Suicide Prevention Task Force is made up of several state agencies, members of the General Assembly, and Prevent Suicide PA, who will engage members of the public, stakeholders, county task forces, individuals, and families who are impacted by suicide every year.
Many Pennsylvanians expressed interest to share their personal stories — whether they are family or friend loss survivors, attempt survivors, health providers, or community members — to raise awareness and help suicide prevention efforts in any way possible.The public’s voice will help task force members shape a statewide suicide prevention plan, which will include recommendations, not only for state government, but for stakeholders and communities, to carry forward and implement.
For more details on the work of the task force and upcoming dates where you can share your opinion follow this link: http://dhs.pa.gov/citizens/suicideprevention/