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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Trends in ER visits, 1992-2001

[Crisis] Over the course of the decade studied, the rate of emergency department (ED) visits in the U.S. that were related to suicide attempts virtually doubled. The observed increases were concentrated in metropolitan areas, among non-Hispanic whites, in individuals under 15 years of age or between the ages of 50 and 69. Emergency departments are under-recognized for their importance as sites for suicide prevention. [Read more]
...from SPRC, Weekly SPARK

Monday, February 2, 2009

SPRC: GLBT Youth Research

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has released Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Written by SPRC staff and reviewed by experts in sexual and gender minority issues, suicide, and suicide prevention, and by youth, this publication addresses the special concerns related to suicide prevention among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Research conducted by experts in mental health, suicide prevention, and other fields shows that a higher proportion of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth consider and attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual peers. Based on the higher rate of suicide attempts among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth and the relative seriousness of these attempts, the authors of this report postulate that it is likely these youth experience higher rates of suicide deaths than non-LGB youth. Less research about transgender youth is available, but these youth generally share risk factors associated with suicidal behavior (such as victimization, depression and substance abuse) with their LGB peers.

Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth draws on research from the past ten years to summarize the current state of knowledge about suicidality in LGBT youth, and outlines twenty-one recommendations for helping to reduce suicidal behavior in this group. These recommendations are appropriate for agencies, organizations, and individuals such as school staff, health and social service providers, suicide prevention programs, and researchers, as well as funders and organizations serving LGBT youth. Recommendations are in the following areas:
• lowering risk specific to or disparately affecting LGBT youth
• improving provider recognition of youth at risk
• increasing outreach and access to services
• increasing coping and protective factors among these youth
The paper, coauthored by Effie Malley, Marc Posner, and Lloyd Potter, includes a resource appendix and an extensive bibliography. The paper may be downloaded from the SPRC site at

SPRC provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist states, tribal nations, organizations, and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions, and policies. Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), SPRC is operated by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), in Newton, Massachusetts.

10th Annual SOS Webcast Available

On Saturday, November 22, 2008 survivors of suicide loss joined together from over 175 locations in the U.S. and abroad for support, healing, information and empowerment. The day of conferences connected survivors through a 90-minute program, viewed simultaneously around the world by webcast, satellite and DVD from 1-2:30pm EST. This broadcast is now available on the AFSP website so survivors can watch it free of charge, on their own computers, anytime. Click here to watch now. (You'll be asked to fill out a short registration form first, then the direct webcast link will pop up on your screen.) Starting in January, you may also purchase a DVD version for $19.95 by visiting the AFSP Store.

Save the date for AFSP's 11th National Survivors of Suicide Day
Saturday, November 21, 2009

...from SPAN USA email

Action Alert for our friends in Georgia: SPAN GA

Survivors of Suicide and the Suicide Prevention Community
We are in need of your assistance quickly!!!
On January 14th, 2009, the Governor released his 2009 Fiscal Year final recommendations as well as the 2010 Budget Recommendations. These recommendations included discontinuing all suicide prevention activities and removed ALL funding for FY2010 and all funds not currently encumbered for FY2009. Basically, our Suicide Prevention Program put in place in 2006 by HB 1092 was not just given cuts as other programs were, but eliminated. We will lose our funding to retain a Suicide Prevention Coordinator, our Epidemiologist and all related activities will cease. This is years worth of work to get this program and funding in place- lost, bringing us back to starting over. All of our suicide prevention work so far was begun and sustained by bringing the grassroots voice of the people and our communities, to the government. And it is important that our voices are heard from every county in Georgia.
So far, these cuts are all recommendations, so there is time…YOU CAN HELP!! We are asking that you CALL AND WRITE your state Senator, Representative and Governor Perdue, and ask them to support the restoration of funding for the Suicide Prevention Program.

This is an action that needs to be taken NOW, this week and next. The legislature will be making this final determination soon.

I want to remind each of you that this grassroots movement is the basis for which our nation was founded. We are constituents in our Senators, Representatives and Governors communities. We have the first amendment right to write and call and ask for our leaders to support our needs. They are people just like we are. When enough of us ask the same request, the request itself is taken to a much more powerful level. Help us to let the voice of survivors and the suicide prevention community be heard!

Don’t be shy, and when you call, ask for your legislator. It is best to speak directly to your legislator, so try to achieve that. But if it is not possible, leave a detailed message for them. They do keep track of these calls and the subject of the calls, so be sure to leave the message that you would like to speak with your legislator about restoring the funding to the Suicide Prevention Program. Be polite and be positive!
Read the Facts Sheet about the program as well as the sample letter and know what you would like to say. Use the talking points as your guide.

For a letter, you need to get it off quickly. A personal letter is the best choice. We have included a sample letter. Feel free to create a letter completely of your own or using this sample as a guideline for your talking points within the letter, or use the sample text for your own letter. Sign it personally. Again, be polite and positive!

• Disappointed at the cuts to the Suicide Prevention Program
• Relate your personal story. (short and succinct)
• The economic crisis and unemployment contribute to depression and suicide risk. In this economic time it is more imperative that the funding is in place to support these needs.
• Suicide is preventable.
• With a small amount of funding, the Suicide Prevention Program has done an incredible amount of population based work that has positively impacted our communities statewide and we support the continuation of this work. (see program facts sheet)
• Ask your legislator to support the restoration of all funding for the Suicide Prevention Program.

As we need voices from all over the state, please forward this to any and all of your friends, family and colleagues in Georgia! Start your own email tree…send it on to everyone that you can and ask them to respond quickly.

I have attached the fact sheet that will be provided to the legislators as well as a sample letter. Please review them.


If you do not know who your Senator or Representatives or need to find their exact mailing address and phone, you can go to this link and put in your zip code and it will take you to a list of the legislators for your address.

Then if you click on the legislator’s name, it will take you to more information. (If the link doesn’t open, just copy and paste into your browser.) When you are directed to your Legislator, there will be tabs over the picture and one will say contact. Click on it and it will give you their mailing address and phone numbers.

Please use the Atlanta address and phone at the Capitol because the legislature is in session.

After you call and/or mail a letter, contact us to let us know what happened with your contact. It is an important part of advocacy to keep track of contacts and coverage. We would like to be able to know how many Senators and Representatives that we reached and how many calls and letters they received. Then as we make our personal appointments to meet with them, we are able to better represent you in every community in Georgia. Feel free to call or email just to give a brief update on what action you were able to take and what happened.

So my contact information is:

Sheri McGuinness
770-517-6405 Home Office
770-354-7616 Cell