Florida Suicide Prevention Plan Outlines Support Strategies for 2016-2020

For Immediate Release: June 13, 2016

Florida Suicide Prevention Plan Outlines Support Strategies for 2016-2020
Florida Children and Youth Cabinet to form Suicide Prevention Task Force

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Children and Families, in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council, recently released the 2016-2020 Florida Suicide Prevention Plan in an effort to guide statewide suicide prevention at the local level. The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet also joined the effort to prevent suicide by announcing the formation of the Suicide Prevention Task Force.

“Suicide prevention requires a community-wide effort to increase access and resources for at-risk individuals in order for them to have the greatest opportunity to receive help,” Secretary Mike Carroll said. “Increasing public awareness of at-risk suicide behaviors and promoting treatment options through the Suicide Prevention Plan has great potential to save lives.”

Suicide was Florida’s tenth leading cause of death in 2014, with 2,961 individuals taking their own lives. On average, one Floridian dies by suicide every three hours, and over twice as many die by suicide as compared to homicide according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Florida Suicide Prevention Plan outlines four strategic directions to support the efforts to decrease suicide-related deaths, including creating healthy and empowered individuals, families and communities, developing and monitoring clinical and community preventative services, recommending treatment and support services, and enhancing surveillance, research and evaluation.

The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet established a Statewide Suicide Prevention Task Force to identify existing systems, agencies and entities that collect data on suicide, with an aim to increase accessibility to the data in an effort to improve prevention and intervention efforts statewide. The Task Force will facilitate a statewide conversation on existing suicide prevention resources, as well as explore ways to promote awareness and coordinated actions that combat this growing public health problem. "

As suicide has become the third-leading cause of death among youths aged 10 to 24, the Children and Youth Cabinet has prioritized the need to bring together key state agencies and stakeholders from around the state to address this preventable public health threat,” Cabinet Chair Wansley Walters said. “Under the leadership of Ms. Tanya Wilkins, I am confident the Task Force can successfully turn the tide on this troubling upward trend.”

Tanya Wilkins, a statewide child advocate, will serve as the Chair of the Statewide Suicide Prevention Task Force. The first meeting will be held June 14 in Tallahassee in Senate Office Building 401, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

For more information or to download the Plan, visit www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/mental-health/suicide-prevention.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis or needs someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Contact: DCF Press Office, (850) 717-4450