MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont needs to bring suicide out of the shadows, end the stigma and step up prevention efforts.
That was the message from survivors of family members who had taken their own lives and from advocates for suicide prevention during a briefing at the Statehouse on Wednesday.
Recent figures show nearly 18 of 100,000 Vermonters dying by their own hand, nearly 50 percent higher than national figures.
Much of the focus of Wednesday's discussion was on prevention efforts focused on young people. Advocates said they are well developed, but more can be done.
JoEllen Tarallo-Falk, director of the Brattleboro-based Center for Health and Learning, says prevention efforts need to expand throughout people's lives. She says the top demographic for suicides are middle-aged men.
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If the fee was enacted as planned in the New Starts application, the expected $555 million in revenue would almost double the amount of taxes and fees motorists currently pay to the state through gas taxes
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