Missouri Suicide Prevention Plan to be Introduced at Aug. 10 Town Hall Meeting

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

July 23, 2004 – Southeast Missouri State University will be the site of a town hall meeting Aug. 10 during which the Missouri Suicide Prevention Plan will be introduced to the community.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. in Glenn Auditorium of Dempster Hall.

All citizens and service providers concerned with suicide prevention efforts and strategies are encouraged to attend and to respond, discuss and make recommendations to strengthen the plan. The Missouri departments of Health and Senior Services, and Mental Health are co-hosting the meeting.

The Missouri Suicide Prevention Plan has been developed with broad input from public health experts, mental health service providers, suicide survivors and diverse community stakeholders. The plan is result of recent legislation mandating development and implementation of a statewide suicide prevention plan.

The legislation was approved in response to growing community recognition that suicide is a very real public health problem that is preventable.

Dr. John Wade, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology at Southeast Missouri State University, says suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Missouri, which enacts an enormous emotional and financial toll. He says Missouri loses more than 700 lives to suicide every year, and another 4,000 receive emergency care after attempting to take their lives. He says suicide robs families of loves ones, traumatizes communities and perpetuates a negative mental health stigma.

Those planning on attending the meeting may view the plan online at www.dmh.mo.gov/cps/suicide/resources.htm.

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP with Wade at (573) 651-2541 or jwade@semo.edu, or with Steve Unterreiner, district administration of Probation and Parole, at (573) 290-5820 or Steve.Unterreiner@doc.mo.gov.