September 14, 2012
Washington, D.C.- Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued the following statement in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week:
“National Suicide Prevention Week serves as an important reminder that suicide remains a leading cause of death in the United States and that we must redouble our efforts to prevent suicide, particularly among veterans and servicemen and women. Nevada has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, a fact I was unaware of when my own father took his life in 1972. Over the years that followed my father’s death, my family didn’t talk about his suicide. We were left alone and carried this experience in a very private way.
“We have come a long way in the past four decades, and suicide is now recognized as a national public health crisis. I was proud to be a part of the work that began in Reno, Nevada that led to the creation of the first ever national Strategy for Suicide Prevention. I am pleased that today, this strategy has been updated to reflect major developments and challenges in suicide prevention over the past decade. I commend the public and private organizations, and the military and veterans affairs officials who are leading the effort to increase awareness and suicide prevention efforts. Together, we can reverse the preventable tragedy of suicide and the toll it takes on our great nation.”
About Senator Reid’s Work to Prevent Suicide
Senator Reid is devoted to promoting suicide prevention and mental health services for all Americans. With help from advocates, clinicians, researchers, and survivors, Senator Reid spearheaded the National Suicide Prevention Strategy which created a comprehensive suicide prevention framework. He helped pass the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act which funded research, training, and technical assistance to prevent youth suicide. Senator Reid introduced the Stop Senior Suicide Act which improved interagency coordination and increased funding for the treatment of mental, psychoneurotic, and personality disorders for seniors. Senator Reid also helped to secure passage of a mental health parity law which ensures that mental illnesses are treated on par with physical illnesses. In May 2012, Senator Reid was honored with the American Association of Suicidology Public Policy Award for his ongoing efforts to advance the cause of suicide prevention in the United States.