Washington, D.C. —Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement recognizing the importance of Suicide Prevention Week:
“Even today, I can still vividly recall the moment in 1972 when I received the tragic news that my father had taken his own life. Over the years that followed my father’s death, my family didn’t talk about his suicide. We were left alone and carried this experience in a very private way.
“It wasn’t until twenty-four years later that I spoke publicly for the first time about my father’s suicide. Shortly thereafter, my office was inundated with calls and letters from people around the country who had also lost a loved one to suicide. I quickly learned that suicide is a national problem, and one that is particularly severe in Nevada.
“No one should have to personally experience the tragedy of suicide to realize that it is not ‘something that happens only to other people.’ With that in mind, I have worked to raise awareness about suicide prevention and to champion measures that will help to reduce the rate of suicide in our nation. I am proud of the advances we have made over last decade, including the adoption of a ‘National Strategy for Suicide Prevention’, the enactment of legislation to address the problem of youth suicide, legislation that would lower the Medicare coinsurance for outpatient mental health, as well as mental health parity legislation.
“Even though we have taken great strides in Congress to promote prevention and awareness, our work is far from finished. It is our duty as Americans to take part in putting an end to this crisis in our state and in our nation.”
NOTE: If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the Nevada Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-877-885-HOPE or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.