Gordon Announces October 11 Mental Health Summit at Nicolaysen Art Museum
On Thursday, Governor Mark Gordon announced in a press release a Mental Health Summit on October 11 at the Nicolaysen Art Museum.
Gordon said in the release:
"Mental health continues to be a rising concern for many in our great state. In 2020, Wyoming, sadly, had the highest rate of death by suicide in the nation," Gordon said. "In order to address the scope of the problem, we must be actively engaged in finding solutions. Building partnerships and enhancing collaboration will help deliver timely services to those experiencing difficulty accessing help."
Gordon, alongside members of Wyoming's legislative and judicial branches, will talk about mental health in Wyoming during the October summit.
Wyoming has had the highest suicide rates in the nation for several years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2020, 2019 and 2018, those rates were 30.5, 29.3, and 25.2 per 100,000 respectively, followed by Alaska in 2020 and 2019, and New Mexico in 2018.
In 2018, 2019, and 2020, New Jersey had the lowest suicide rate across the country at 8.3, eight, and 7.1 respectively, followed by New York over all three years.
Gordon has taken efforts during his tenure to try and address the state's high suicide rate, including making the state suicide hotline available 24/7, the "You Matter" campaign, and participating in the challenge to prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families.
It will include various unspecified community partners, private providers, state leaders, with panel discussions on the current efforts and the development on addressing mental health and substance abuse in Wyoming.
The release did not provide any additional details on what exactly will be discussed.
According to a report by Wallet Hub in 2021, Wyoming ranks 40th across the country in terms of happiness, with Utah as the happiest state and West Virginia as the least happy, based on three factors, emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment.
Dr. Rob Anda, developer of the Adverse Childhood Experiences research and founder of ACE Interface, will be the keynote speaker and will lead a panel on the importance of establishing "trauma-responsive communities."
The summit is free to the public and is supported by the Hughes Charitable Foundation and Align, with registration required on their website, with a maximum of 250 participants.
The Hughes Foundation is described on their website as a Wyoming-based organization "supporting the poor, hungry, oppressed, imprisoned, housing insecure, veterans, women and children, and Indigenous communities."