Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project expressed support for the passing of House Bill-198 by the state of Georgia on May 5th, 2015.
HB-198, known and referred to as “Jason Flatt Act-Georgia,” establishes both annual suicide awareness and prevention training for certified school-system personnel as well as the adoption of state and local school district-level policies on suicide awareness and prevention.
The bill was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal at approximately 2:30 PM EDT in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia joins Tennessee, Louisiana, California, Illinois, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Utah, Alabama, South Carolina, Ohio, North Dakota, and Wyoming as the 14th state to ratify similar laws.
“The Trevor Project’s mission and goal is to ensure that all at-risk LGBTQ youth are aware of, and have access to, crisis intervention and suicide prevention services. The fact that leaders within the school systems of 14 states, throughout the nation, will participate in mandatory suicide prevention training gives us hope that the information they learn will impact the lives of, not only LGBTQ youth, but all youth who need these resources,” states Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project.
Atlanta based Trevor Ambassador Jamie Woodard, LLC of Wellborn, Wallace & Woodard and member of The Trevor Project’s Board of Directors Jeffrey Paul Wolff of Wells Fargo were at the capital to represent the organization in showing approval of the bill’s enactment. In fact, Mr. Woodard played a vital role in drafting the language and lobbying to ensure the passing of the Jason Flatt Act – Georgia.
“I’ve been volunteering with The Trevor Project for years and have personally seen and talked to youth that need the proper resources to reach out for help,” says Mr. Woodard. “In working with Governor Deal’s office, I wanted to make sure that the language in HB-198 defines the need for school, family and community participation in order to help prevent suicide for at-risk youth. Now with policies and structure in place in all Georgia elementary and secondary education systems, the school system will be able to reach youth at a vital time in life and provide information and means to help.”
Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its accredited, free and confidential phone, instant message and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.