Was Ronald Reagan's proclamation 5500 of June 1986, the last proclamation concerning Suicide and Mental Health?
This is what one of my readers told me in an email this morning:
"...I noticed that today President Obama proclaimed June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month which he also did in 2009 (which is great). I wondered if he or our previous president had ever made a proclamation to bring awareness to the tragedy of suicide and the health concern of mental illness. I happened upon a website listing all presidential proclamations..."
"...I found Proclamation 5500 - Youth Suicide Prevention Month, 1986
June 10, 1986 Ronald Reagan - I sincerely hope this is not the most recent proclamation. If it is, it's seriously past due for a new one!"
Following is Ronald Reagan's 1986 proclamation:
By the President of the United States of America
Our youth are this Nation's hope for the future. Young people have so much to offer society and so much to hope for that their early death is always a keenly felt tragedy. That tragedy becomes even more poignant when a young person takes his or her own life.
During the last three decades, youth suicide rates have tripled. Last year alone, approximately five thousand young people took their own lives, and many thousands more attempted suicide. Their actions left family and friends bereft, heartbroken, and often baffled.
The phenomenon of youth suicide is a national problem. To cope with it we must enlist the combined diagnostic and educational efforts of individuals, families, communities, churches, synagogues, private groups, and government agencies. We must learn to detect the early symptoms of suicidal tendencies and develop ways of helping those whose depression and despondency could lead to this terrible act. We must continue to combat those tendencies and influences such as the "drug culture" that preach despair and violence and generously offer help and counsel to young people beset with problems of adolescence. We should not neglect to pray for young people tempted to end their own lives as the "easy way out."
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 266, has designated the month of June 1986 as "Youth Suicide Prevention Month" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of June 1986 as Youth Suicide Prevention Month. I call upon the Governors of the several States, the chief officials of local governments, and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.
Since the death by suicide of my twenty year-old son, Andrew Williamson-Noble on November 3rd. 2009, when he jumped from the tenth floor of Bobst, NYU's main library, I have become an activist in the area of Suicide & Mental, Emotional Wellness.
I am working on several initiatives, including the following petition to give
Suicide A Face & Mental Health A Voice
Show that You Care: Sign & Share
Get Your Wellness On