Suicide prevention classes will now be mandatory for all personnel working in Maine schools.

That’s because earlier this week, Governor Paul LePage signed a bill into law, geared toward helping prevent teen suicides. The bill was signed on Thursday, almost immediately after it received final approval from the Senate.

In addition to suicide prevention awareness classes, there will be some school employees required to take advanced training courses in prevention education. Representative Paul Gilbert, who is responsible for sponsoring the bill, says that this law will save lives through awareness and training.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death to young Mainers under 25-years-of-age, according to statistics from the Maine Suicide Prevention Program. In addition, the Center for Disease Control indicates that nearly 15 percent of all seniors attending Maine high schools have considered committing suicide at some point.

LePage says that he hopes that this law will help address some of the real issues surrounding suicide among young people, as the effects of suicide on Maine families is very real.

For more information on the Maine Suicide Prevention Program, click here.

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