Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition (FSPC)

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Background  (beginning from earliest down to most current)

The Florida Legislature recognized the criticality of the problem of suicide in 1984 by passing the Florida Emotional Development and Suicide Prevention Act (Chapter 84-317).  This act required the Department of Health Rehabilitative Services, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and Law Enforcement (FDLE) to develop a state plan for youth suicide  The Task Force concluded that while a number of service components existed in many districts, coordination and supplementation of these services was needed in order to establish a starting point for the development of a full continuum of services, including prevention, intervention, and treatment coordinated to address children's needs in a holistic way.

Subsequently, in 1985 a Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention of Youth Suicide in Florida was developed and submitted.  This plan:
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Provided a model that addressed detailed Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment strategy.  Included a budget.
At the completion of developing this plan the Task Force stated: We firmly believe that this plan, if approved and funded, will fulfill the legislative intent – to promote the positive emotional development of youths and to address the continuing problem of youth suicide in the state.
The plan was never implemented.

In 1990, Florida also made suicide prevention training a requirement for teacher certification.  It was mandated that a life-management skills class be taught in secondary education level and include suicide awareness.

In 1998, the Florida Department of Children and Families (FDCF) funded a Youth Suicide Prevention Study, Report to the Florida Legislature was presented by the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida,.  This study, completed in September 1999, stated that after a decade following legislatively mandated initiatives to address youth suicide and described the state of affairs in Florida's programs for children, youth and their families addressing suicide prevention, knowledgeable intervention strategies and promising practices that have been successful in reducing the risk factors associated with incidence of child and youth suicide. (click here: See Report - [pdf 131pgs])

·        Florida currently ranks tenth in the nation for suicides per 100,000 population. 
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Suicide ranks fourth as the leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 15-24. 

The Florida House of Representatives passed House Resolution No. 9233 in 1999.  A resolution encouraging suicide prevention efforts.  The Florida Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 2684 in 1999.  The Florida Senate recognized suicide as a state problem and declared suicide prevention to be a state priority. 

In 1999, The FDOE introduced the SAFE School Action Planning and Preparedness Program.  School Critical Response Plans incorporated suicide threats and gestures at all levels.

In November of 1999, Pam Harrington, who lost her daughter Beth in 1997, emailed Governor Jeb Bush about suicide and its' devastating losses.  Governor Bush became interested in Pam's story and invited Pam and her husband Bob to Tallahassee to discuss this problem.  A meeting was set for January.

On January  11, 2000, Governor Jeb Bush, recognizing that suicide is a serious health problem, met with grass roots suicide prevention activists Pam and Bob Harrington.  Following this meeting Governor Bush directed the Florida Office of Drug Control to assist in decreasing the incidence of suicide in Florida.

June, 2000 the Adolescent Prevention Plan, Task Force Report to the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of EMS was completed and submitted.  This document is available at www.ac.wwu.edu/~hayden/spsp  

November, 2000, at the request of Jim McDonough, the Director of the Florida Office of Drug Control, representation from AFSP n/k/a Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention (FISP), DCF, DOC, DJJ, DOE, DOH, USF, and SPAN-FL convened at the Governor’s Office to begin establishing an infrastructure for a state suicide prevention task force.  The organization is the Florida Task Force on Suicide Prevention.

In 2002, a pilot program is announced to provide a five-year plan which considers the entire continuum of a community-based youth suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in Alachua and Broward Counties to end in 2007.  The program will be pursued through the Institute for Child Health Policy and called the Florida Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan Community Youth Suicide Prevention Prototype Program, administered by Deborah Mulligan-Smith, MD, FAAP, FACEP at Nova Southeastern University.

IJune, 2002 13 individuals from around the State met in Orlando to discuss the possibility of organizing the State with the intention of educating, preventing suicide within the State.

IAugust, 2002, the Florida Suicide Prevention Task Force announced the Statewide Suicide Prevention Strategy to reduce the incidence of suicide in Florida by one-third by 2005.  The Strategy Paper can be viewed here:  Preventing Suicide in Florida - A Strategy Paper

October 14-17, 2002, 30 individuals met at Camp Blanding (Florida Army National Guard Camp) for a three day meeting to learn about Coalition building and to formalize the organization of the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition.

March 26, 2003, survivors and friends of the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition gathered at the Florida Capitol to help dedicate the day as "Suicide Prevention Day -- A Day to Focus on Suicide Prevention Awareness".  This proclamation was read at a press conference held by Governor Jeb Bush.  Governor Bush gave an impassioned statement regarding the need to reduce the incidence of suicide and cited the Strategy Paper as the beginning.  The Governor announced that he and his wife Columba are pleased to serve as honorary Chairpersons of the Coalition.  The Coalition set up tables and Quilts in the Rotunda of the Capitol and made visits to the Legislators with packets explaining the tragedy of suicide in Florida and in their respective communities.  [click to see 2003 Day at Capitol activities]

October 1, 2003 the Youth Suicide Prevention Prototype Project Executive Summary Report: Year One was released; Click here:  Youth Suicide Prevention Prototype Program Report
Also see Article section: Articles

November 17 & 18, 2003, the first FSPC Conference in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Volusia/Flagler Counties "Making Strides to Save Lives".  Held at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, FL.  The two day conference featured speakers; Dr John Agwunobi-Director Florida Department of Health, James T. Reese, Trainer International CISM, Reverend William Morrison-Spiritual Warfare, Stuart Perry- The Journey, Dell Hackett-Suicide Prevention for Law Enforcement, Keri Lubell-CDC, Hendricks Brown-Science Based Strategies, Dr. Deborah Mulligan-Smith-Florida Pilot Program, Pam Harrington & Laura Meyer-Florida Gatekeeper Training, Heather Scanlon-Columbia Teen Screen.  [click here for results & pictures]

February 3, 2004, Suicide Prevention Briefing with Governor and Mrs. Jeb Bush.  The meeting was hosted by Director Jim McDonough of the Office of Drug Control to update the Governor on suicide prevention efforts including overviews of:

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TeenScreen (Columbia University)

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Jason Foundation

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1-800-SUICIDE

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Grassroots Efforts

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Youth Suicide Prevention Prototype Program

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Legislation

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Governor's Task Force

See picture of participants at meeting: [click here]

February 12-13, 2004, Governor's Task Force on Suicide Prevention retreat at Camp Blanding.  The purpose was to brainstorm and develop a current strategy for reducing suicide in our communities over the next 5 years.  Director Jim McDonough of the Governor's Office of Drug Control welcomed everyone and directed the activities for the two days.  Participants included individuals from; The Governor's Office of Drug Control, Department of Children and Families, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Elder Affairs, Florida Mental Health Institute of University of South Florida, Department of Juvenile Justice, Agency for Workforce Innovation, Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition, Beth Foundation, University of Florida-Department of Psychology, Crisis Centers, School Psychologist, and Florida Institute of Suicide Prevention.  Captain Diana Travis, Community Coalition Officer for the Florida Counterdrug Training Academy hosted the retreat.

March 23, 2004, the second Florida Day at the Capitol was held in the Rotunda in partnership with the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Governor's Florida Task Force on Suicide Prevention.  Governor Jeb Bush and Mrs. Columba Bush held a Press ConferenceGovernor Bush Proclaims March 23, 2004 as "Florida Suicide Prevention Day - A Day to Focus on Suicide Prevention Awareness".  Charles Curie, Director of the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also participated.  The Coalition set up tables and Quilts in the Rotunda of the Capitol and made visits to the Legislators with packets explaining the tragedy of suicide in Florida and in their respective communities.  The members visited members of both the Senate and the House to push for the SB 2042 and HB 0897 a suicide prevention bill to create the Office Suicide Prevention Coordinator and a Suicide Prevention Council, with an appropriation of $100,000.  Students Larissa Alter and Catherine Manfre and Student Government Association (SGA) advisor Debbie Couch from Flagler Palm Coast High School were in attendance and spent time with Governor and Mrs. Bush describing the high school's suicide prevention program.  [click here for Day at Capitol 2004 details]


 

2004 Florida Legislative Session:  Bills were introduced to create a Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention, create a Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council and asked for an appropriation of $100,000.  But these Bills relating to Suicide Prevention H 0897 failed to make it out of a House Sub-committee - Committee on Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations (AP).  with the bill failing in the House.  Senate bill S 2042 passed the entire Senate 39 YEAS, 0 NAYS with many thanks to Senator Evelyn Lynn the sponsor.  Without the House voting on the measure, the bill died in committee and could not be forwarded to Governor Bush for approval.  Representative Kim Berfield fought hard.  It seem to come down to the money.  The appropriations request of $100,000 equated to $42.88 per loved one lost to suicide in 2002 (2,332).  Back to the drawing board for the grassroots and others who fought hard to educate the legislators regarding the tragedy of suicide.

March 30, 2005, the third annual Florida Suicide Prevention Day at the Capitol was held in the Rotunda in partnership with the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Governor's Florida Task Force on Suicide Prevention.  Governor Jeb Bush and Mrs. Columba Bush held a Press ConferenceGovernor Bush Proclaims March 30, 2005 as "Florida Suicide Prevention Day - A Day to Focus on Suicide Prevention Awareness".  The Coalition set up tables and Quilts in the Rotunda of the Capitol and made visits to the Legislators with packets explaining the tragedy of suicide in Florida and in their respective communities.  The members visited members of both the Senate and the House to push for the S 0210 and HB H 0447, suicide prevention bills to create the Office Suicide Prevention Coordinator and a Suicide Prevention Council.  Senator Evelyn Lynn and Representative Hugh Gibson sponsored the respective bills.

For activities of the day [click here]

2005 Florida Legislative Session: 
S210     GENERAL BILL/CS/CS/CS by Health and Human Services Appropriations; Governmental Oversight and Productivity; Children and Families; Lynn; (CO-SPONSORS) Fasano; Wilson; King; Smith; Klein
 
Suicide Prevention Statewide Office; creates Statewide Off. for Suicide Prevention in Executive Off. of Governor; creates position of statewide coordinator for statewide office, contingent upon specific appropriation; creates Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council within  Statewide Off. for Suicide Prevention; creates interagency workgroup for state agencies within coordinating council in order to coordinate state agency plans for suicide prevention, etc. Creates 14.2019,.20195.
 
04/21/05  Passed all committees
 
04/22/05 SENATE Placed on Calendar, on second reading -SJ 00567
  05/06/05 SENATE Died on Calendar

H447     GENERAL BILL by H. Gibson; (CO-SPONSORS) Berfield; D. Davis; Harrell; Jennings; Mahon; Patterson; Porth
 
Suicide Prevention Statewide Office; creates Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention in Drug Control Office; creates position of statewide coordinator for statewide office, contingent upon specific appropriation; creates Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council within Drug Control Office; creates interagency workgroup for state agencies within coordinating council in order to coordinate state agency plans for suicide prevention, etc. Creates 397.3335,.3336
  02/23/05  Now in Governmental Operations Committee
  03/08/05  1st Reading In Governmental Operations Committee
  04/11/05 HOUSE  On Committee agenda-- Governmental Operations (SAC),
  04/13/05, 5:00 pm, Morris Hall --Temporarily deferred
  05/06/05 HOUSE  Died in Committee on Governmental Operations (SAC) ??
  Jeffrey Kottkamp (R) (District 74 - Cape Coral) was the Chairman of the SAC.

August 19 & 20, 2005, individuals from Florida State agencies, members of the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition and others met at Camp Blanding, Fl (Florida Army National Guard Camp) for two days of meetings.  Discussions included; State and National updates, goals and strategies from the new State strategy, suicide prevention week activities, discussion of the upcoming Suicide Prevention Day at the Capitol - March 21, 2006 and other goals setting agendas to go from this meeting.


(click on picture to enlarge)

Some in attendance were; from FSPC - Laura Meyer-Chair, Teresa Tate, Pam Harrington, Judy Bousquet, Rene Barrett, Donna Cacciatore, Bonnie McClelland, Rene Favreau, Kay Doughty, Terry Smith and other organizations - Teresa Hays, Phyllis Law, Steve Wiggins, Gail Gregory, Anita Godfrey, Steve Roggenbaum.  As special thanks to Capt Diana Travis of the Florida Army National Guard for hosting the meeting.

2006 Florida Legislative SessionFAILED on LAST DAY!

HB 527 - Last Event: 05/05/06 S Died in Messages
                     on Saturday, May 06, 2006 1:11 AM

SB 1008 - 05/05/06 SENATE Died on Calendar

[SB 1008]    GENERAL BILL by Lynn
 
Suicide Prevention; creates Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention in
  Executive Office of Governor; authorizes said office to seek & accept
  grants or funds from any source to support its operation; creates
  Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council within said office; creates
  interagency workgroup for state agencies within coordinating council in
  order to coordinate state agency plans for suicide prevention, etc.
  Creates 14.2019,.20195.  APPROPRIATION: $100,000.  EFFECTIVE DATE:
  07/01/2006.
  12/02/05 SENATE Filed

[HB 527] Suicide Prevention
GENERAL BILL
   by Gibson, H.
Suicide Prevention
:
 Creates the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention within the Office of Drug Control; provides the goals and objectives of the office; creates the position of coordinator for the statewide office; specifies the education and experience requirements for the position of coordinator; details the duties and responsibilities of the coordinator; authorizes the office to accept grants and funds; creates the Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council within the Office of Drug Control; provides the scope of activities for the coordinating council; creates an interagency workgroup for state agencies within the council to coordinate state agency plans for suicide prevention; authorizes the council to assemble an ad hoc committee to advise the council; provides for membership on and meetings of the council; provides for per diem and travel expenses.
Effective Date:
July 1, 2006.

March 21, 2006
, the fourth annual Florida Suicide Prevention Day at the Capitol was held in the Rotunda in partnership with the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Governor's Florida Task Force on Suicide Prevention.  Governor Jeb Bush and  LT Governor Toni Jennings held a Press ConferenceGovernor Bush Proclaims March 21, 2006 as "Florida Suicide Prevention Day - A Day to Focus on Suicide Prevention Awareness".  The Coalition set up tables and Quilts in the Rotunda of the Capitol and made visits to the Legislators with packets explaining the tragedy of suicide in Florida and in their respective communities.  The members visited members of both the Senate and the House to push for the [SB 1008] and [HB 527], suicide prevention bills to create the Office Suicide Prevention Coordinator and a Suicide Prevention Council.  Senator Evelyn Lynn and Representative Hugh Gibson sponsored the respective bills.  [click here to see events of the day]

October 10, 2006
, the Annual FSPC meeting was held at Camp Blanding in Starke, FL.
Chair Dennis Ross presided.


October 11, 2006
, a joint meeting of the Suicide Prevention Task Force and the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition was held.  The meeting was to integrate efforts and break down the Florida Suicide Prevention Strategy into more manageable actions steps and disseminate responsibility statewide.
Erin MacInnes of the Office of Drug Control (Erin.MacInnes@MyFlorida.com ) managed the efforts.


December 4, 2006
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a Suicide Prevention Task Force meeting was held at the Clearwater Hilton Beach Resort preceding the Symposium.  Coalition members and anyone around the state who were interested were invited to attend. Following up from the Camp Blanding meeting, continuing work on the action plan based on the Florida Suicide Prevention Strategy.

December 5-6, 2006,  2006 Florida Suicide Prevention Symposium
[click here for complete details]

Erin MacInnes of the Office of Drug Control was in charge:   Erin.MacInnes@MyFlorida.com

 5th Annual FSPC Day at the Florida Capitol
April 25, 2007
Chair:  Pam Harrington r-harrington@comcast.net
WALK and RALLY in TALLY
[click here for all the details]

200 walkers for the Rally

[click here]  For details,
including Day activities, T-shirts, FSPC meeting, Billboard and Radio spots & locations and more
Billboards [click here to view]

2007 Florida Legislative Session:  PASSED BOTH HOUSES and Signed by Governor Charlie Crist into Law on May 22, 2007 !!
The Suicide Prevention Bill creates the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention beginning 7/1/07.
(View details and progress of bills by clicking on Bill number below)
Summary of Suicide Legislation  [click here]  (3 pgs pdf)

Senate Bill: SB 0224 - Filed on 12/14/06
House Bill: HB  0139 - Filed on 1/2/07
This is the 4th year of filing.

Senate Bill 224:  Sponsored by Senator Evelyn Lynn
Co-Introducers:
King, Geller, Rich, Wilson, Oelrich
Referred Committees:
(click on Committee below)
Children, Families, and Elder Affairs - YEAS=8, Nays=0  3/7/07
Governmental Operations YEAS=4, Nays=0  3/14/07
Health and Human Services Appropriations  YEAS=5, Nays=0  3/24/07

April 27 - 3rd Floor Reading (Heard)

Senate Floor Vote: YEAS=39, Nays=0

House Bill 139:  Sponsored by Representative Hugh Gibson
Co-Sponsors:  (23)
Cretul, Chestnut, Harrell, Sachs, Baxley, Heller, Kendrick, Sands, Davis, D,  Anderson, Galvano, Hooper, Vana, Kravitz, Mahon, Robaina, Roberson, Zapata, Jenne, Mealor, Ford, Schenck, Gibson,A
Referred Committees: (click on Committee below)

Health Quality - YEAS=10, Nays=0  2/20/07 (Video)

Healthcare Council - YEAS=15, Nays=0  3/20/07 (Video)
Policy & Budget Council - YEAS=29, Nays=0  3/23/07 (Video)
March 28 - 2nd Floor Reading (Heard)
March 29 - 3rd Floor Reading (Heard)
House Floor Vote:  YEAS=114, Nays=0

Signed by Governor Charlie Crist into Law on May 22, 2007 !!


July 2007

The Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention is started.
Erin MacInnes is named Director.
 

 
2008 Florida Legislative Session:

These Bills were successful in 2008!


Senate 0790: Relating to School Safety/Bullying & Harrassment [SPCC]
04/30/08 SENATE Placed on Special Order Calendar; Substituted HB 669
                  -SJ 01079; Laid on Table, Link/Iden/Sim/Compare passed, refer
                  to HB 669 -SJ 01079

HB 669 - School Safety
Last Event: 05/30/08 Signed by Officers and presented to Governor on Friday, May 30, 2008 2:06 PM

These Bills were NOT successful in 2008!

Suicide Prevention in District Schools
HB 1157 - Student Discipline and School Safety  Sponsored by: Rep John Legg
Last Event: Died in Schools & Learning Council on Friday, May 02, 2008 6:02 PM
SB 2564 - Relating to Suicide Prevention/Education/School Boards  Sponsored by: Senator Mike Fasano
05/02/08 SENATE Died on Calendar

"Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act"
Senate 0462: Relating to Prevention of Harassment/Public K-12 Schools
10/15/07 SENATE Withdrawn prior to introduction
Senate 0088: Relating to School Safety/Bullying & Harassment
05/02/08 SENATE Died in Committee on Education Pre-K - 12


 

 
 
2011 Legislative Session:

March 30, 2011:  Florida Suicide Prevention Day at the Capitol (9th Annual)

2011 Suicide Prevention Day Flyer [click here]

2008 Suicides-Homicides Stats in Florida by County Handout [click here]

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See full details of the DAY [click here]

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Results of  Legislative Session;

Governor Rick Scott signs Chapter 2011-51 (SB 2104) into law on May 26, 2011 to take effect July 1, 2011.
 
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The bill moves the SOSP from the Executive Office of the Governor to the Department of Children & Families - FSPC was AGAINST

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The bill eliminates funding for SOSP - FSPC was AGAINST

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The bill eliminates the Coordinator position in the SOSP - FSPC was AGAINST

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The bill REPEALs Section 1006.07(7), passed in 2010 that provide NO cost suicide prevention educational resources to all instructional and administrative personnel as part of the school district professional development system under s. 1012.98 - FSPC was AGAINST

Statement of Retention of the SOSP in a Position of Leadership [click here]

FSPC needs help in making sure the Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention (SOSP) survives!!