Boise's Mayor Bieter proclaims Suicide Prevention Week

Posted at 9:40 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 23:40:01-04

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter has proclaimed this week – Sept. 5 through Sept. 11 -- as Suicide Prevention Week.   

The move comes as part of a bigger effort to raise awareness about the issue of suicide in Idaho.

362 Idahoans died from suicide last year.

According to the mayor, Idaho consistently ranks among the highest for suicide rates in the nation; the state ranked 9th in 20-14, with numbers 46 percent higher than the national average.

Suicide awareness has also been the focus of a collaboration by a task force created by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and the Speedy Foundation. 

As a young student, Jaret "Speedy" Peterson made a tile of artwork proclaiming that someday he would win an olympic medal.

The aerial skier went on become a three-time olympian who won the silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The Speedy Foundation was formed in 2011, after "Speedy" took his own life. .

The governor’s task force worked with the Speedy Foundation to form the Suicide Prevention Coalition, which successfully lobbied for funding to launch Idaho's Suicide Prevention Hotline. The hotline is now available 24/7 and is expanding into social media.

The hotline provides crisis intervention, emotional support, resource referrals, and follow-up for all Idahoans, as well as their family and loved ones.