HARRISBURG – Today by unanimous vote, the House of Representatives designated September 2018 as Suicide Prevention Month in Pennsylvania.
House Resolution 1009
, sponsored by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), aims to raise awareness that suicide is preventable, improve education about suicide, spread information about suicide awareness and decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.
“As a society, we cannot stay silent about suicide, no matter how difficult or painful talking about suicide may be,” Benninghoff said. “Bringing this tragedy into the light and refusing to perpetuate the stigma could help to save a life. Every life is worth saving.”
Suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death which is influenced by psychosocial, cultural and environmental risk factors that can be prevented through worldwide responses that address these main risk factors. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention strategies can reduce suicide rates.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 3,000 people, on average, die by suicide daily. More than 1,900 Pennsylvania lives are taken by suicide annually. For every person who dies of suicide, it is estimated that 25 individuals have attempted to end their lives.
On Sept. 4, Benninghoff presented a copy of House Resolution 1009 to Marisa Vicere, president of the Jana Marie Foundation, at the foundation’s sixth annual Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day event at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte.
“If you're having thoughts of suicide, please reach out for help,” Benninghoff said. “You are not alone.”
Benninghoff encourages residents to visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org
for more information. The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Representative Kerry Benninghoff
House Majority Policy Committee Chairman
171st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Morgan Wagner