Idaho’s Risch pitches in on suicide prevention awareness

Idaho GOP Sen. Jom Risch is among more than 70 members of Congress and their family members taping public service announcements set for broadcast during National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 8 to 14.

The PSAs aim to alert the public to suicide warning signs, such as losing interest in activities, insomnia and fatigue, or withdrawing from friends and family or talking about wanting to die.

A news release from the National Association of Broadcasters and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention follows:

SENATOR RISCH TAKES ON SUICIDE PREVENTION LAUNCHES NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

National Suicide Prevention Week September 8th – 14th

New York, NY – September 3, 2013 – Senator Jim Risch has partnered with the National Association of Broadcasters and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to create a new public service announcement (PSA) aimed at raising awareness about depression and reducing suicide. Broadcasters are encouraged to air the public service announcements during National Suicide Prevention Week occurring this year from September 8th through 14th.

Titled “Signs”, the goal of the PSA is to inform the public about common symptoms of depression and suicide warning signs such as losing interest in activities, insomnia and fatigue, or withdrawing from friends and family or talking about wanting to die.

According to Robert Gebbia, executive director for AFSP, most people who die by suicide give some indication, but often these signs are not easy to recognize. “Increasing knowledge of depression and common warning signs can save lives,” he said.

More than 70 members of Congress and/or spouses and family members have recorded similar PSAs that are airing across the country. “We applaud Senator Risch and all the members of Congress for participating in this national educational campaign. Together, we hope to create a world without suicide,” said Gebbia.

The TV and radio PSAs are available to download at http://nab.psamedia.org.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, help is available by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). For more information about suicide warning signs visit www.afsp.org.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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