Lawmakers could reduce the number of suicides in Vermont if they put more money into prevention-- that was the message at the Statehouse Friday from the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Supporters say investments in prevention and mental health screenings are helping. But they say more can be done to lower Vermont's suicide rate, which is among the worst in the nation.
"We really feel like education is the key. We need to educate the public more about mental illness and suicide, we need to be able to talk about it, but we also need funding," said Kelly Merrigan Short, a suicide prevention advocate.
Advocates call for a school curriculum that goes beyond a cursory mention in health class, continued investment in programs that are working and even changes to high risk locations such as the Quechee Gorge Bridge.