The 27th Alaska State Legislature, 2011 - 2012||
Press Release: Sen. Anna MacKinnon
Governor Signs Bill Expanding Statewide Suicide Prevention Council
|Fairclough's HB 21 Also Clarifies Membership Requirements & Make-up|
Posted: May 23, 2012
Contact: Laura Pierre, 465-3777, Chief of Staff
(Eagle River) - Governor Sean Parnell today signed a bill adding a member to the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, and expanding the age requirement of the youth member on the council.
It is important that we do all that we can to combat this unfortunate epidemic.
~ Sen. Anna MacKinnon
Rep. Anna Fairclough's House Bill 21 expands the council from 16 to 17 members, adding an individual who works, or has previously worked, in the armed services on issues relating to mental health. It also changes the youth member standard from someone enrolled in high school to someone between the ages of 16 to 24.
"It is important that we do all that we can to combat this unfortunate epidemic," Fairclough, R-Eagle River, said. "The steps we are taking in this bill to expand the experience of members are crucial. HB 21 will greatly help Alaskans and I'm thankful for the support of my colleagues in the House and Senate for helping craft this bill and also to the governor for signing it today.
Fairclough, citing a recent Rand Corporation study, said that veterans have a higher risk for suicide with an annual rate that increased 50 percent from 2001 to 2008. The Veterans' Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255.
Veterans' resources are available at www.veteranscrisisline.net and www.veterans.alaska.gov.
HB 21 will take effect August 20, 2012.