On February 11th, I and several other members of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition distributed 103 roses at the Vermont Statehouse in memory of loved ones we have lost to suicide, and also in memory of each of the 103 people lost in Vermont last year alone. I am happy to say the roses were received with appreciation, respect and compassion. We hope our state’s leaders now have a better, more personal understanding of the terrible toll that suicide takes on our families. While not wishing to diminish any other public official, I must say I was, once again, struck by the reception we received from Lt. Gov. Phil Scott. I say “once again” because over the years he has consistently been willing to listen to our members’ stories and learn how society can help those at risk of suicide and their family members. Suicide is the exact opposite of a “feel good” story, it is only human that some people, public officials included, shy away from its telling. But not Phil. He has fully engaged in our events at the Statehouse, and many of our events away from the Statehouse. I think I can tell when a public figure really cares, or is just checking something off the day’s “to-do” list. I believe Phil really cares, both as a person and as a government decision-maker. That is why I fully support Phil Scott as our next governor.
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