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Governor recognizes Suicide Prevention Week

Crystal Graham

terry mcauliffeGov. Terry McAuliffe has recognized the week of Sept. 5-11 as National Suicide Prevention Week in Virginia.

The proclamation, issued by the governor on Wednesday evening, recognizes that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans, taking an estimated 42,000 lives in the U.S. annually.

The certificate also acknowledges the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for providing “resources and support for individuals affected by suicide.”

The recognition was presented to Crystal Abbe Graham, the secretary of the Virginia chapter of AFSP. Graham’s identical twin sister, Christina, died by suicide at age 15.

“We’re humbled that Gov. McAuliffe would take the time to lend his support to the cause of suicide prevention,” Graham said. “As the governor noted in his proclamation, grassroots support is vital to continuing the battle against suicide and the loss of young lives. His proclamation will go a long way to helping us in our efforts to raise awareness that there is help out there.”

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers resources and support for individuals affected by suicide, including people who have contemplated or attempted suicide, or known someone who have died by suicide.

Similar proclamations were made in Waynesboro and Augusta County late last month. Staunton City Council will issue a proclamation on Thursday, September 8, at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall in Staunton.

More information on the Virginia chapter of AFSP is available online at www.afsp.org/virginia

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.