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WHEREAS, the health and safety of all Virginians are important to the happiness, prosperity and well-being of our Commonwealth’s families and communities; and
WHEREAS, it is important to recognize that mental health is a critical component of children’s learning and general health; and
WHEREAS, addressing the complex mental health needs of children, youth, and families today is fundamental to the future of the Commonwealth of Virginia; and
WHEREAS, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day theme is “Suicide Prevention: Strategies that Work”; and
WHEREAS, suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10 through 24; and
WHEREAS, the suicide rate among children ages 10 to 17 increased by 70 percent between 2006 and 2016; and
WHEREAS, the need for comprehensive, coordinated mental health services for children, youth, and families places upon our community a critical responsibility; and
WHEREAS, it is appropriate that a day should be set apart each year for the direction of our thoughts toward our children's mental health and well-being;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 9, 2019, as CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.