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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 26, 2019 01:24 PM
From: Representative Jennifer O'Mara
To: All House members
Subject: Sensitive Language Related to Suicide
Approximately 1,970 Pennsylvanians die by suicide each year, with the suicide rate in Pennsylvania increasing by 34 percent between 1999 and 2016.

These alarming statistics are compounded by the lack of sensitivity used when discussing suicide deaths and the use of language that perpetuates the stigma surrounding suicide.

I am urging the use of sensitive language related to suicide with my resolution, by calling on all branches of Pennsylvania state government to adopt the use of the term “death by suicide” rather than the term “committed suicide,” which implies a criminality.

I ask that you join me in helping to eliminate suicide stigma and to ensure that all branches of state government utilize sensitive language related to suicide.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-783-4090.

Introduced as HR399