P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-3222
Dear Governor Greitens:
As your constituent, I am writing this letter to urge you to approve House Bill 1719, which outlines suicide prevention training for health care professionals who are often on the front lines with patients in crisis.
This new bill would require psychologists, counselors, social workers, and therapists to complete two hours of suicide prevention training to obtain their initial licensure. It also provides for any health care professional – doctors, nurses, etc. – to receive training that will count as a continuing education credit that maintains their licensure.
Suicide is an epidemic in Missouri, taking a life every 8 hours and increasing to over 1,000 people in 2017. We are ranked 17thnationally in suicide-related deaths. It’s a problem no one wants to talk about because it is a topic that is often covered in confusion, shame, and grief – but thousands of your constituents are touched by.
As friends and family members, we are all emotionally invested when someone we know succumbs to this alarming healthcare threat. As Missouri taxpayers, we are touched by the fact that more than $1 billion is lost annually due to combined lifetime medical cost and lost work productivity following suicide and suicide attempts.
I strongly urge you to act now and sign HB 1719 into law. It is a crucial step toward saving thousands of lives.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent request.