VIDEO: Governor Ducey And State Leaders Raise Awareness Of Suicide Prevention, Provide COVID-19 Updates

News Release

September 10, 2020

PHOENIX⁠ — In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Week and World Suicide Prevention Day, Governor Doug Ducey joined health and education leaders, veterans advocates and state lawmakers today to raise awareness of the issue of suicide, highlight support and resources available, describe state actions to help those dealing with depression and other mental health issues. The Governor and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Director Dr. Cara Christ also provided COVID-19 updates and discussed the impact increased isolation and heightened stress of the pandemic can have on mental health. 

The Governor highlighted efforts of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to increase behavioral health resources in school. Over the last year, clinicians across the state have provided behavioral health services to more 15,000 students on school campuses, a 28% increase in students accessing school-based care. Now that many students are attending class online, behavioral health providers have stepped up and transitioned to offering services via telehealth and virtual means, tapping into an expanded telehealth benefit offered by AHCCCS during the pandemic.

View the full briefing HERE.

The Governor issued a proclamation recognizing this week, September 6 - 12, 2020, Suicide Prevention Awareness Week in Arizona to highlight services available to those in need and state initiatives to support mental health. 

Additionally, Governor Ducey announced during his State of the State Address Arizona’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan to increase access to mental health care, collect new data and ensure treatment is available to all Arizonans. 

At today’s briefing, the Governor was joined by ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Service Director Colonel Wanda Wright, AHCCCS Director Jami Snyder, Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family Director Maria Cristina Fuentes, Senator Kate Brophy McGee, Representative Jeff Weninger, Senator J.D. Mesnard, Senator Sean Bowie, health care and education leaders and more.