Washington, D.C. (June 20, 2019) – The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) joins EFSGV, CSGV, Brady, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Giffords, in applauding the House of Representatives for voting in favor of allotting $50 million to NIH and the CDC for research on gun deaths and violence prevention.
“The gun lobby has prevented scientists from fully understanding gun violence and developing life saving interventions for 20 years. Today’s vote is an enormous step forward. Nearly two out of every three American gun deaths is a suicide death and more than half of all American suicide deaths are gun deaths,” says Michael Anestis, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi and Co-Chair of AAS’s Firearm and Suicide Committee. “Today’s vote is thus vital progress for suicide prevention.”
It now falls on the Senate to vote in favor of these funds and AAS hopes they will not only demonstrate the leadership and integrity inherent in choosing to do so, but also that they will ensure that suicide remains at the forefront of all conversations regarding how best to allocate these funds.
"I applaud the House for moving forward on providing vital, long overdue funding for this research,” says Erin Dunkerly, attorney and Co-Chair of the AAS Firearms and Suicide Committee. “As a survivor of loss to suicide by firearm, I know that countless others will benefit from legislators treating gun violence like the public health crisis that it is."
Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes the research of suicide and its prevention, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center volunteers, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of lay persons who have in interest in suicide prevention. You can learn more about AAS at www.suicidology.org .