Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Suicide by the Numbers in Pa

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Suicide by the Numbers in Pa

Article excerpt

Advocates from the state chapters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention were in Harrisburg last week to push for more resources to battle drug and alcohol addiction and provide more support for mental health counseling and treatment as a way of cutting the rate of suicides in the state.

They were backing two bills:

* State Bill 134 (prime sponsor Sen. Mario Scavello, R-Monroe County), which would provide a loan forgiveness program for qualified college graduates entering mental health, intellectual disability and drug and alcohol treatment professions. There is high turnover in these jobs because of low wages.

* State Bill 44 (prime sponsor Anthony H. Williams, D-Philadelphia), which would prohibit mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation conversion therapy with teens under age 18. Such practices have been rejected as scientifically invalid by the American Psychiatric Association, but concerns about this can lead to increased risk of suicidal behavior among teens. …

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