9-12-19 suicide prevention task force wraps up public hearings

The Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention has wrapped up a series of public hearings across the state before developing  policy recommendations  this fall.  The final hearing was held this week at the Medical College of Wisconsin.   Task Force chair, Republican state representative Joan Ballweg of  Markesan,  says one of the takeaways from the hearings was the need to increase awareness.  “People in different walks of life don’t want to be seeing as being weak or needing help,”  Ballweg told WFDL news.  “High (suicie) rates when it comes to veterans, law enforcement, first responders, and farmers, all these folks are seen as strong and independent.  We need to tell folks there is a way of getting help, that seeking help is not going to be a detriment.”  Ballweg says the Task Force was also charged with identifying new opportunities to target at-risk communities and investigate new treatment and prevention options.  September is Suicide Prevention month.