Rural Suicide Prevention Council

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Rural Suicide Prevention Council

May 15, 2023

Memorandum of Support

Re: A7188 Gunther
Establishes the Rural Suicide Prevention Council

The above referenced bill would establish a Rural Suicide Prevention Council to identify barriers to mental health and substance use treatment and prevention services and other policies that aim to reduce death by suicide and suicide attempts and acknowledge the demographic and cultural differences in rural communities. The New York State Catholic Conference supports this important legislation.

It’s well known that a mental health and suicide crisis has exploded over the past few years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Tragically, data show that the suicide rate in rural areas of New York is double that in urban areas. An unfortunate lack of resources and services, economic disadvantage, poor infrastructure, and heightened stigma all contribute to these higher statistics.

It is critical that we invest resources in supporting those that might otherwise choose to end their lives. Helping the vulnerable is so important in creating a culture of life here in New York. Those that are struggling deserve our love and compassion to carry on. We urge you to support this measure.