PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey has declared the month of September Teen Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in Arizona to raise awareness about teen suicide and highlight ongoing efforts to prevent it. It is estimated that more than 10,000 teens in Arizona attempted suicide in 2017.
“Suicide is a heartbreaking reality facing our young people that we must fight on all fronts,” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona is recognizing September as Teen Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to bring light to this issue, highlight the great organizations throughout Arizona that work daily to combat it and bring an end to this tragedy.”
Yesterday Governor Ducey signed S.B. 1468 (schools; suicide prevention training), also known as the Mitch Warnock Act, in a ceremony at the Capitol. The state legislature unanimously passed S.B. 1468 earlier this year. With H.B. 1468, guidance counselors, teachers, principals and other school personnel of charter and district schools who work with sixth through twelfth graders will receive expanded training in suicide awareness and prevention.
Arizona’s state agencies also are engaged in multi-layered efforts to address and prevent suicide.
- Last year, Arizona invested $10 million to expand behavioral health services and mental health training offered by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) in Arizona schools.
- To protect the health and safety of our kids, the fiscal year 2020 budget provided $20 million to hire more school counselors, social workers and cops on campus.
- This year’s balanced budget also provides $1.2 million for the Be Connected program, a partner of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, to prevent veteran suicide.
- And Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ is leading a community project with input from stakeholders including mental health experts to develop a breakthrough plan with recommendations for a statewide Suicide Prevention Action Plan.