Introduction of A Concurrent Resolution to Raise Awareness of Suicide-Hon. Mark Udall (Extensions of Remarks - June 18, 2004)
HON. MARK UDALL
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2004
Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a concurrent resolution which recognizes the importance of suicide prevention and raising awareness of suicide within the nation.
Suicide occurs in our nation at a rate of 30,000 suicides annually and kills youth six nine times more often than homicide. It is also the second fastest growing cause of death among college-age students. However, studies have shown that 95 percent of suicides are preventable. It is a silent epidemic that is preventable and awareness is the key to that prevention.
There are several programs throughout the country which put in hundred of hours, most from volunteers, to provide support services to prevent suicide as well as support to the families and friends who have lost loved ones to suicide. I would like to highlight one of these organizations which is based in my district in Colorado, but works throughout the country and internationally. The Yellow Ribbon International Suicide Prevention Program
provides resources to teachers, parents, and those at the most risk of suicide. They go into schools to raise the level of discussion about suicide and ways to seek help. The more suicide is talked about, the more likely those thinking about suicide will take action and ask for assistance.
Many who are considering suicide do not know where to turn for help, or even how to ask for help. Under the Yellow Ribbon International Suicide Prevention Program, Yellow Ribbon Ask 4 Help cards are made available to schools, teachers, counselors, and parents. These cards provide a simple way for individuals to ask for help, especially for those who cannot utter the words "I need help."
It is also important to remember that suicide does not only affect our youth, but people throughout the phases of life. In fact, the largest number of suicide deaths occurs among men between the ages of 35-44. The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, within the Department of Health and Human Services recommends and encourages organizations to expand there service to focus on elementary ages as well as the elderly.
My concurrent resolution recognizes the importance of suicide prevention and awareness, as well as reaffirms the commitment to the priorities expressed in H. Res. 212 and S. Res. 84 which were both passed in the 105th Congress. Lastly this bill states that the week of September 19, 2004 should be recognized as Yellow Ribbon Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week.
I urge my colleagues in the House to support this legislation to help prevent suicide and to wear a yellow ribbon the week of September 19, 2004 to raise awareness of this global epidemic.