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Tomblin Publicly Signs Suicide Prevention Bill

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin held a ceremonial bill signing at the Capitol today for Jamie’s law, a bill that mandates suicide prevention and awareness in West Virginia schools and on college and university campuses.

"We are only one family and ours is only one story." - Michelle Toman

Along with the governor and state Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano, Michelle Toman addressed those gather at the Capitol for the signing.

Toman is the sister of Jamie Campbell for whom House Bill 2535 is named. 

Jamie was just 18 years old when he took his own life more than 20 years ago, and since, Michelle said she has felt called to work in suicide prevention.

Jamie’s Law mandates suicide prevention and awareness be taught in West Virginia public schools and on college and university campuses. It also requires expanded access to mental health treatment at higher education institutions.

“This is the sound of silence being broken on suicide," Toman said. "This is going to save lives.”

At the ceremony, Gov. Tomblin also declared September 15 Suicide Prevention Day.

The bill took effect in June.

Ashton Marra covers the Capitol for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program. Ashton can also be heard Sunday evenings as she brings you state headlines during NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered. She joined the news team in October of 2012.

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