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The latest news from every corner of the state, including policy emerging from Missouri's capitol.

Mental health advocacy groups urge lawmakers to improve Missourians' access to psychological health

The Missouri chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held their annual State Capitol Day today Wednesday, where they talk to lawmakers and advocate for Missourians’ mental health needs.

Lauren Ross is the advocacy chair, secretary and a board member for the Missouri chapter of the Foundation, and she said that the group comes to the Capitol every year to oppose and support specific legislation that relates to mental health in the state.

This year’s focus is on encouraging the passage of two bills.

The first ensures all Missourians have access to cognitive behavioral treatment that seeks to reduce self- harm and suicide attempts.

The second would task the Missouri Veterans Commission with supporting Veteran suicide prevention efforts, and she encourages all Missourians to speak out about these topics.

"Let your legislators know that there is an issue, and we need their support fixing it," Ross said.

The Foundation is also focusing on LGBTQ youth mental health — opposing bills that would ban gender affirming care for minors and supporting a bill that would prohibit conversion therapy in Missouri.

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Sarah Petrowich