Arizona News: Combating Suicide in Arizona

Phoenix, AZ (STL.News) – Monday, Arizona Governor Ducey participated in two events to discuss the importance of bringing awarness to suicide and Arizona’s multi-layered actions to combat and prevent suicide.

This morning, Governor Ducey spoke at the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services launch of the Be Connected Roadshow.  The Be Connected Program connects connects Arizona service members, veterans, families & helpers to information, support and resources, such as peer support and behavioral health services.

Governor Ducey also declared today, August 19, 2019, as Be Connected Day in Arizona.

This afternoon, Governor Ducey spoke at a Suicide Prevention Goal Council Meeting today with the Arizona Department of Health Services.  The council meets regularly about the state’s ongoing efforts to combat suicide and save lives.

Taking Action

Last year, Arizona added $10 million in funding to expand behavioral health services offered at schools by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

According to AHCCCS, in 2018:

  • $3 million in state General Fund dollars were appropriated to expand behavioral health services in schools;
  • $1 million of this funding is being used in a partnership with the Arizona Department of Education to provide mental health training to schools and school districts;
  • The remaining dollars are matched with Federal Funds to generate $10 million in Medicaid funding to AHCCCS health plans to bring established behavioral health providers into the school setting, meet Medicaid-eligible students where they are and where they have health needs, and fund Medicaid-covered behavioral health services in schools.

This year’s balanced budget provides $1.2 million for the Be Connected program, a partner of the Department of Veterans’ Services, to prevent veteran suicide.

In addition, to protect the health and safety of our kids in school, Arizona’s budget provides $20 million to hire more school counselors and cops on campus.