Suicide Prevention Task Force Members Announced

We are passing on this helpful update from Mental Health America of Wisconsin. It includes a link to a release from Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), announcing the members of the Speakerís Task Force on Suicide Prevention. The bipartisan task force will make policy recommendations to help reverse the trend of increasing suicide rates in the state.

Members are as follows:

Chair: Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan)
Vice Chair: Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska)

Members:
Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh)
Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc)
Rep. Nancy VanderMeer (R-Tomah)
Rep. Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond)
Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield)
Rep. Jesse James (R-Altoona)
Rep. Loren Oldenberg (R-Viroqua)
Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc)
Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison)
Rep. Debra Kolste (D-Janesville)
Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg)
Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee)
Rep. Beth Meyers (D-Bayfield)


Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) is announcing the members of the Speakerís Task Force on Suicide Prevention. The bipartisan task force will make policy recommendations to help reverse the trend of increasing suicide rates in the state. See the complete list of members here.

The announcement of the new Suicide Prevention Task Force presents an incredible opportunity for MHA and our partners to make a big impact on preventing suicide in our state. While we do not yet have formal policy recommendations, we know what works in Wisconsin. See our policy priorities below. For more information about statewide suicide prevention, please visit www.preventsuicidewi.org.

MHA of Wisconsin’s Suicide Prevention Policy Priorities

Support School-Based Suicide Prevention

  • Provide funding for school-based suicide prevention.

    * Signs of Suicide kits
    * Sources of Strength
    * Hope Squad
    * Provide grants to help implement behavioral health screenings to identify and intervene with students at risk.

See Youth Suicide Prevention: Student Programs here.

Require Suicide Prevention Training

    * 27 states, plus DC, require training for school personnel.
    * 9 states require training for health professionals.
    * See Wisconsin Laws Addressing Youth Suicide Prevention and Intervention here

See State Laws: Training for Health Professionals in Suicide Assessment, Treatment, and Management here.

Reduce Access to Lethal Means

    * Funds to purchase/disseminate gun locks or other safe storage equipment
    * Lethal violence protection order (14 states)
    * Background checks and waiting periods for handgun purchases

Increase the Mental Health Workforce

    * Increase loan repayment programs.
    * Support integration of behavioral health providers into primary care.

See National Projections of Supply and Demand for Selected Behavioral Health Practitioners here.

Support Local Coalitions

    * Provide grants for coalitions/local health departments to increase public awareness and implement local programs.
    * Provide funds to support administration of grant programs, if authorized, or to provide additional technical assistance to counties, coalitions, or provider agencies.

See a directory of Wisconsin’s county suicide prevention coalitions here.

Prioritize Populations at Risk

Provide funds for populations at disproportionate risk of suicide; e.g. Military/Veterans, LGBTQ+ youth, Men in the Middle Years, Native or AI/AN communities.

See the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s page on Populations here.

Last edited by Courtney.   Page last modified on March 31, 2019

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