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WHEREAS, suicide is a major public health concern; and
WHEREAS, nearly 45,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States and suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall; and
WHEREAS, in 2016, Virginia experienced 1,166 deaths by suicide, making suicide the 11th leading cause of death in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, suicide is complicated and tragic; there are almost always multiple contributing factors; and
WHEREAS, public awareness of the warning signs and the networks available for at-risk individuals are essential to continue lowering the rates of suicide; and
WHEREAS, organizations, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offer resources and support for individuals affected by suicide, including people who have contemplated or attempted suicide, or known someone who committed suicide; and
WHEREAS, community organizations and grass-roots support are vital to continuing the fight against suicide and the loss of lives; and
WHEREAS, reducing the stigma by discussing suicide and increasing the awareness of available resources for those suffering from suicidal thoughts is important to prevention efforts;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 9-15, 2018, as NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.