Mayor Teri Johnston and Commissioner Mary Lou Hoover have proclaimed September 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day.
Commissioner Hoover has been a tireless advocate of raising awareness for years. She encouraged the community to join the American Society for Suicide Prevention walks on November 19. Already, a good number of staff have signed up to walk for the City of Key West team.
Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in Florida, and over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition.
Suicide rates have increased 30 percent over the last two decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 3,135 people died by suicide in Florida in 2020. Organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide through research, education, advocacy, and resources.
"It is important to recognize suicide as a preventable public health problem," reads the proclamation, "to address the disparity in access to mental health care for underserved and underrepresented groups, and to advocate for a comprehensive suicide, mental health, and substance use crisis response system to build on the historic new 988 phone number for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline."
In the photo from L to R: Commissioners Gregory Davila, Jimmy Weekly, Mary Lou Hoover, Mayor Teri Johnston, Vice-Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Commissioners Clayton Lopez and Billy Wardlow.