For Immediate Release: March 29, 2019

Media Contact:
Ben Truman
Vermont Department of Health
802-951-5153 / 802-863-7281


Statement by Vermont Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD about recent suicide deaths and attempts in Newtown, Conn., Parkland, Fla., and in Vermont.

It is with profound sadness that we acknowledge the pain suffered by the individuals, families and communities in Parkland, Newtown and here in Vermont, following news of recent suicides and attempts. We are reminded of the long-lasting impact that trauma and violence, as well as current stressors can have, especially on young people.

I ask everyone to please share the message that suicide is preventable. There are resources to help those who are struggling with emotional distress and mental health challenges, and who may be thinking about taking their own lives.

It is especially important for families, friends and peers to be mindful with loved ones, and within our communities to recognize the warning signs when someone is in crisis, to connect with them and talk about your concern for them, and to help them get help. You matter, because you may be in a position to help.  

If you are thinking about suicide or feeling that what you’re dealing with is just too much – please know you matter to a lot of people, and you can get help. Reach out and find somebody you can talk to, whether in person, on the phone or by text. Use the resources identified below.

Ask for help: Let your friends, family, teachers or another trusted adult know that you need help. Sometimes this means asking someone to just listen.

If you or someone you know is thinking about or planning to take their own life, there is help 24/7:

  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255. Counselors are available 24/7 to provide free and confidential support. In an emergency, you can also call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency department. Visit for additional resources.
  • Text the Crisis Text Line – text "VT" to 741741 anywhere in the U.S. about any type of crisis. Get immediate counseling and support through text messaging.
  • Trevor Lifeline: LGBTQ Crisis Lifeline: 1-866-488-7368
  • Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1
  • 10 community mental health centers located around the state offer crisis services and ongoing supports. Go to
  • Talk to a family member, friend, health care provider, a faith leader, teacher or coach

Asking someone about suicide or talking about it, does not increase the risk of suicide. Whatever the concern, it is important to talk with children, teens and young adults early, and offer help when someone is struggling or comes to you. This connection can give them a chance to discuss it again in the future.

Suicide is preventable.

Know the Warning Signs:

You can find more information and resources at:

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