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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Suicide Prevention Week

WHEREAS, suicide is a major preventable public health concern of state and national responsibility; and

WHEREAS, in 2021, Virginia experienced 1,201 deaths by suicide, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the Commonwealth and the 2nd leading cause of death in young people ages 10-24; and

WHEREAS, public awareness of the warning signs, stress-coping strategies, safety planning, and support network availability are essential to a multi-prong approach to suicide prevention; and

WHEREAS, schools serve as key settings for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention as described by the Virginia Board of Education adopted Suicide Prevention Guidelines for Virginia Public Schools; and

WHEREAS, the Suicide Prevention Interagency Advisory Group, jointly facilitated by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), coordinates efforts of the Commonwealth to strengthen capacity across our communities to implement suicide prevention strategies across the lifespan; and

WHEREAS, DBHDS and the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) provides peer recovery support and family outreach for military-connected citizens to support behavioral health, rehabilitative, and supportive services access before crises develop; and

WHEREAS, upstream behavioral health wellness programs diminish accumulating suicide risk, and the forty prevention services offices of the Commonwealth’s Community Services Boards provide evidence-based prevention programs and strategies that promote mental health wellness and suicide prevention skills training; and

WHEREAS, Virginians have access to free, confidential emotional support and suicide crisis intervention twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year when they call 988 and are connected with highly trained crisis line workers; and

WHEREAS, Lock and Talk Virginia, in partnership with Virginia DBHDS, provides a statewide approach to suicide prevention that educates the community on warning signs and encourages limiting access to firearms, medications and other potentially dangerous items during a mental health crisis; and

WHEREAS, together we can promote hope and healing across our communities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize September 10-16, 2023, as SUICIDE PREVENTION WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.