Proclaiming September 6 through September 12, 2009 Suicide Prevention Week in Fairfax County


Proclaiming September 6 through September 12, 2009 Suicide Prevention Week in Fairfax County 

Madame Chairman:

In the United States, one person dies by suicide every 18 minutes, and it is estimated that 5 million people in the United States have lost a loved one to suicide in the past 25 years. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of all deaths in the United States, and mental health problems will strike one in five adults each year regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or economic status. It is the third leading cause of death among youth between the ages of 15 and 25, and the second leading cause of death for college students, with tragic consequences not only for themselves but others as well.

It is also the most preventable cause of death, and the vast majority of suicidal individuals display warning signs. Organizations such as CrisisLink are dedicated to reducing the frequency of suicide attempts and deaths, and the pain for survivors affected by suicides of loved ones, through educational programs, research projects, intervention services, and bereavement services. 

CrisisLink saves lives and prevent tragedies; gives vital support to people facing life crises, trauma and suicide; and provides information, education and links to resources for Fairfax County residents. Over the past year, CrisisLink saw a 60% increase in the number of callers contemplating suicide, answered 7,742 calls from Fairfax residents in crisis, provided 13 suicide prevention and depression awareness workshops to Fairfax residents, and distributed 180,000 suicide prevention wallet cards to the Fairfax County Public School system.

As suicides traditionally increase in times of economic crisis, the urgency to reach out to those in need is especially heightened. Therefore, to raise awareness I ask, without objection, the board proclaim September 6 through September 12, 2009, as Suicide Prevention Week in Fairfax County. Further, I ask that the board invite a representative from CrisisLink to the September 14th Board Meeting to speak about their organization and be recognized for the vital service it provides in our community.

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