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On World Suicide Prevention Day, Mucarsel-Powell Announces $800,000 Mental Health COVID-19 Grant For Monroe County

Press Release

Date: Sept. 10, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day and during Suicide Awareness Month, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) announced a Department of Health and Human Services grant of $800,000 for the Guidance Care Center in Marathon. This grant will allow the care center to continue to provide mental and substance use disorder treatment, crisis counseling, and other related supports for children and adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"During Suicide Awareness Month, we remember the over 48,000 Americans we lose to suicide each year, and recommit ourselves to addressing this preventable loss of life. I'm glad that this federal grant is going towards building mental health resources in Monroe County, which has one of the highest rates of suicide in the state," said Mucarsel-Powell. "We're all experiencing a nationwide trauma during this pandemic, and our communities need to have organizations and partners who are ready to help people. I will continue fighting for more resources for our community because suicide prevention requires a comprehensive approach, from sharing the suicide hotline, to expanding our mental health workforce and resources so everyone, regardless of their zip code, has access to mental health care."

"With this new funding we will be able to increase the availability of and access to free mental health services to prevent suicide and suicide attempts among adults, aged 25 and older at all 3 GCC sites throughout the Florida Keys. This is critical because state funding is limited, and we have 48% of our community who are uninsured and underinsured, and we know the greatest risk of suicide for our county is housing costs/availability which is exacerbated by this pandemic and hurricane Irma," said Maureen Dunleavy, LMHC, Regional Vice President at Guidance Care Center, Inc. "We are so grateful for this opportunity to save lives in our community."

In the U.S., suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-54. The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001. And while half of individuals who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition, research shows that 90% experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.

If you live in the Florida Keys, there is local, free help available 24 hours per day 305-434-7660 option 8.


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