I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Suicide Awareness and Prevention-- Important Legislation is Moving in Tallahassee

Florida Sen. Lisbeth Benacquisto

Senator Lisbeth Benacquisto joined members of the Florida Coalition of School Board Members from around the state for a legislative town hall meeting Thursday evening.  Senator Benacquisto has multiple bills filed and moving in the legislature, but the conversation quickly centered around her suicide awareness and prevention bill (SB 884)  which is quickly moving through committees in Tallahassee, on it's way toward becoming law.

According to Senator Benacquisto, the latest data available from 2013 reveal that 34 Florida students aged 10-12 committed suicide that year.  Here in Escambia County, we have had a number of student suicides over my 10 year career on the school board, including one middle school student that killed herself just this past January.

This is an issue that demands attention at all levels of government.

Fox news, just today, did a full blown story on the epidemic of suicides by young people in our country.  This is a problem that has grown every year since 2007.  from that piece:

"We are seeing significant increases in suicide for those ages," Dr. Thomas Simon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's suicide expert, told "When you go back to 2007, the rates in that age group have gone up every year."According to the CDC, 5,504 people ages 10 to 24 died by suicide in 2014, the most recent year in which statistics are available.The figure was up from the grim 2013 tally of 5,264, and the number has risen every year and up 13 percent from 2010. Experts are braced for official 2014 and 2015 statistics to show a continued upward trajectory.Males are four times as likely as females to kill themselves"

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