Target: Utah Governor Gary Herbert
Goal: Thank Governor Herbert for requiring suicide prevention programs in schools
Suicide among young people has been an issue which has just recently been making more of a public appearance. Youth suicides have been discussed in television shows, news reports, and YouTube videos such as the Trevor Project’s “It Gets Better” campaign, among many others. This open conversation with educated information will be continued thanks to Utah Governor Gary Herbert signing a recent bill requiring secondary schools to conduct suicide prevention programs.
Surrounding suicide are a lot of stigmas and ignorance; it’s not something that’s generally discussed around the dinner table per se. Many people don’t know the causes or warning signs involved with individuals who may be suicidal and still more people are at a loss as to what to do when they realize someone they care about is suicidal. While it is always best to seek professional help in dealing with these issues, programs such as the ones that this law helps to set up spread awareness and break some of the stigmas and ignorance surrounding suicidal behavior.
HB 154, which has now become law, creates and sets up funding for positions in the state offices of education and mental health. This new law will require secondary schools to provide suicide prevention programs directed toward youth for their students. Governor Herbert signed this bill on May 24th.
Executive Director and CEO of the Trevor Project Abbe Land added his support and said “Suicide prevention programs in schools are crucial, as they educate young people and their educators about the warning signs for suicide, encourage help-seeking behavior and provide vital resources. Potentially life-saving laws like HB 154 can make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable LGBTQ youth by helping create support systems that previously did not exist.”
Dear Governor Herbert,
Thank you for continuing to further awareness, support, and discussion around the issue of youth suicide by signing HB 154. This is an extremely important issue and one that will be helped immensely by this new law, which provides education and resources for struggling youth.
By requiring secondary schools to provide suicide prevention programs, you are working to reduce the stigmas, silence, and ignorance that surround youth suicide. Programs such as the ones this law requires are crucial in providing information, resources, and hope to not only youth but their families, educators, and community members. You are also helping to show young people who may be struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts that they are not alone and their illnesses are not something to be ashamed of and that there are people who care about them.
Once again, thank you very much for taking this important step and for working to help educate people about youth suicide.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Governor Gary Herbert via Wikimedia Commons