Proclamation 5500 -- Youth Suicide Prevention Month, 1986

June 10, 1986

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

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.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:09 a.m., June 11, 1986]