November 5, 2013

Another View: Suicide prevention training will save lives

A new law aims to avert suicide among young people.

Thank you for your recent editorial highlighting the problems of suicide among middle-aged people in Maine (“Our View: To stem suicide epidemic, reach out to those at risk,” Oct. 18). I would like to let you know about some work that took place in Augusta this year to prevent suicide among another vulnerable group of Mainers.

about the author

Paul Gilbert is a Democratic state representative from Jay.

In our state, suicide is the second leading cause of death among those under age 24.

Thirteen percent of high school seniors in our state have considered suicide, 9 percent have planned ending their lives and 8 percent have actually attempted to complete suicide. After speaking with families of suicide victims, I was honored to sponsor a bill that will save lives.

The measure, which became law Oct. 9, will provide suicide awareness and prevention training to all of Maine’s public school employees to help them identify students who may be at risk of suicide. In addition, at least two employees in each school administrative district will complete a more specialized training course in suicide intervention.

Suicide knows no boundaries. Our young people are especially vulnerable to taking their own lives and these tragedies can be prevented.

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