On Monday August 18, 2014, AFSP volunteers Deb Clancy and Brigitte Boiano participated in a Press Conference held by Ohio State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills).
The Press Conference underscored the importance of addressing suicide as a preventable public health problem and reviewed legislative progress in Ohio to date regarding suicide prevention. This includes the 2012 adoption of the HB 543 (“Jason Flatt Act”), which requires training in youth suicide awareness and prevention for school personnel, and the 2013 adoption of HB 149 which designates September 10 as “Ohio Suicide Prevention Day.” Both of these bills were championed by Representative Anielski.
The Press Conference also highlighted a new bill recently introduced by Representative Anielski and Representative Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) – House Bill 609. This new bill would require state colleges and universities to develop and implement policies to advise students and staff on suicide prevention programs available on and off campus, to include crisis hotlines, mental health programs, multimedia applications, student communication plans, and school postvention plans. State colleges and universities would also be required to provide all incoming students with and post online information about available depression and suicide prevention resources.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) supports House Bill 609. We know that one of the best ways to prevent suicide among our college students is to empower them with the knowledge and tools to get the help they need, when they need it. House Bill 609 will bring critical, life-saving information on depression and suicide to college students across the state of Ohio, helping to demystify and normalize the help-seeking process and equipping students with the tools to know what to do should they or a peer experience a decline in mental health or a crisis situation.
AFSP would like to thank Representative Anielski for her continued support and leadership in addressing suicide as a public health problem in the state of Ohio. AFSP also extends our sincere thanks to both Deb and Brigitte for making the trip to Columbus to represent AFSP at this important event.