Vermont has the highest rate of death by suicide in New England and the 7th highest in the U.S., according to the American Association of Suicidology, 2013. Why do people die by suicide? People who survive suicide attempts say they wanted to end the pain of feeling alone and hopeless. Anyone can be at risk of suicide if they become overwhelmed by stress and don't find their way to support.

The Center for Health and Learning (CHL) and the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center are committed to a sustainable approach to suicide prevention. That’s why we developed Umatter Suicide Prevention training for Schools, Communities/Professionals, and Youth and Young Adults (YYA).

This year, on #GivingTuesday, we are raising funds for Umatter. Why Umatter? Because you matter! Because you have a contribution to make, something important to do, and a purpose waiting to be fulfilled. We created Umatter because we want to give people the message that feeling down or depressed is a common experience, and we wanted to give everybody the tools to talk about it. We want people to know that they can go to a trusted peer or adult for help and they will be able to respond or connect them to professionals who can help. We want to offer hope by helping people connect to their family, their friends, their community, and helping professionals. Here's what one group said about Umatter: “Our school participated in the Umatter Suicide Prevention Training for Schools. We sent a team to learn about early warning signs, risk factors, and best practices. The two day workshop also had school teams design protocols to respond to a student experiencing suicidality. Were it not for this training, our school community would not have the depth of knowledge about suicide prevention or the tools to use when a student is in crisis.” I hope that you will consider the Center for Health and Learning, and Umatter, on #GivingTuesday.