OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma has the eighth-highest suicide rate in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), one person dies by suicide every eleven hours in our state. For persons aged 15 to 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death in Oklahoma.
In light of tragic and often preventable statistics, suicide awareness and prevention is the focus of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Practice & Policy Lecture Series on July 26, 2018 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. The lecture,
Talk Saves Lives: A Brief Introduction to Suicide Prevention, will be presented by the chair of the Oklahoma Suicide Prevention Council, Robin Hudson LeBlanc and suicide prevention advocate Melissa Reese Casey. Both speakers will discuss the warning signs and risk factors of suicide, prevention, and postvention.
LeBlanc is the first suicide survivor to chair the Oklahoma Suicide Prevention Council. She co-directs the Tyler Hudson Sonshine Foundation, serves as state coordinator for the Survivor Outreach Program for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), is a member of the AFSP Oklahoma Board of Directors and is co-organizer of the AFSP Lifekeeper Memory Quilt for Oklahoma. She has chaired the AFSP Out of Darkness Walk in Tulsa, National Suicide Survivors Day in Tulsa, and co-facilitates a suicide loss support group in Tulsa.
Casey is a suicide survivor trained in evidence-based suicide prevention and awareness and is a strong advocate of suicide prevention and postvention education. She is a volunteer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Out of the Darkness Walks in Fort Smith and Tulsa.
The statewide suicide prevention hotline in Oklahoma is 1-800-522-9054. The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255.
The Practice & Policy Lecture Series has been developed to provide thought-provoking presentations on Oklahoma's emerging policy issues, trends and best practices. The series is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of Performance Outcomes and Accountability and the
University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management
with the goal of providing the best educational opportunities available in a forum that offers participants an opportunity to question, share and learn from each other.
All lectures are free and open to the public. DHS staff can receive training credit for this event and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for social workers.
Click here to register.
For more information, visit the Practice and Policy Lecture Series website
or contact the Office of Performance Outcomes and Accountability at (405) 521-3552 or by email at
Robin Hudson LeBlanc
Melissa Reese Casey