The governor sent out a press release that might make you think he has solved one of the state’s biggest non-monetary problems: the horribly high number of suicides we see.
The press release says the state is stronger in its fight against suicides because the legislature, in a bill sponsored by Anchorage Republican Anna Fairclough, agreed to put one more person on the now-17-member Suicide Prevention Council. Do you really think that having another person on some Council will make many people will think twice before they … whatever?
With flowery words, he also signed a bill requiring all school personnel to have some sort of training in suicide awareness, prevention and intervention.
(You won’t get this from the governor’s press release, but the bill was sponsored by Bettye Davis, a Democrat who is also a Senator – two unacceptable traits not worthy of a gubernatorial nod.)
It will be interesting seeing how this one develops – a telephone training session for over-worked people. Most schools already have someone specifically trained in dealing with suicides – the Counselors. Problem is, there are not enough of them throughout the state. And in too many places they are given odd jobs that do not use the skills they have. Maybe the training will direct principals, teachers and other staff members to their in-house resources.