National Suicide Prevention Hotline

2008 – Task Force Hard At Work

2008 – Task Force Hard At Work

The task force recommended language for the Teen Suicide and Violence Prevention Act in the state legislature and was presented by its sponsors to both the Alabama House of Representatives and the Senate for enactment. In 2008 national, state and local resources were used to develop: Radio and TV spots; Billboards; Speaker’s Bureau. We also have an informal speaker’s bureau. Many members of the Task Force receive calls and go out into schools, conferences, community agencies (sometimes when a suicide has occurred) and sometimes in a more preventative way. We have all become more expert as the years go on, and so we designed a general curriculum for the speakers to use, but now there is greater confidence and customized response to each request. The Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) came to Alabama and, in July, facilitated a two-day coalition building curriculum (Strategic Planning for Suicide Prevention) to maximum enrollment allowance representing agencies, task force members, university counselors and professors, employees, hospital / psychiatry representatives, high school counselors, veterans administration, child death review professionals, survivors, and more. A Pilot Grant application was submitted to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) train counselors as Bereavement Resource Representative in all counties of the state, while monitoring the well-being of suicide survivors for research. It was not funded. The Task Force attracted thirteen more members as participants including a SPAN USA Field Representative, other survivors, counselor educator and therapist, social workers from public health, and more. The Task Force continued to lend support to the AFSP-sponsored third annual Out of the Darkness Walk with staffing, materials, publicity, and collaboration. This support History of ASPARC 4 was echoed with National Survivors Day in November. During National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, Governor Bob Riley signed a Proclamation in support of all efforts to reduce the suicide rate in Alabama. The newly revised state suicide prevention plan was unveiled during this week. Friends and allies of suicide prevention gathered to witness this proclamation.