Gov. Tomblin today spoke to students and teachers at Hedgesville High School about suicide prevention and bullying. The governor proclaimed this week as Suicide Prevention Week in West Virginia and urged all West Virginians to learn more about suicide warning signs.
"The school year is only a few weeks old, and West Virginia has already lost a young girl to suicide," said Gov. Tomblin. "Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for West Virginians between 15 and 24 years old. That's simply heartbreaking."
"As I told the students at Hedgesville High School this afternoon, each of every one of them is precious and has a bright future," Gov. Tomblin continued. "Preventing teenage suicide is a very important issue and one I care deeply about. This week, I ask all West Virginians to take time to learn about suicide warning signs and talk to the young people in their lives about this issue. Together, we can make a difference."
Before traveling to Berkeley County for his visit to Hedgesville, the governor spoke about suicide prevention in an event at the State Capitol. He was joined by legislators, education professionals and parents. Suicide prevention has been a priority for the governor since he took office.
In March, Gov. Tomblin signed the Jason Flatt Act of 2012, named in honor of a young man who took his own life in 1997 at age 16. After Jason Flatt's death, his family created the Jason Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to preventing youth suicide. The Foundation has developed a curriculum for students and informational seminars for parents and teachers, and is one of many organizations providing suicide prevention materials to West Virginians.