AUGUSTA — A bill aimed at preventing suicide among youths in Maine has been signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage.

The governor signed the bill Thursday, hours after it won final Senate approval. It would require suicide prevention awareness for all school personnel and advanced training that includes prevention education for some school employees.

Rep. Paul Gilbert, who sponsored the bill, says awareness and training will save lives.

The Maine Suicide Prevention Program calls suicide the second leading cause of death of Mainers 24 and younger. Survey data from the state Center for Disease Control shows that nearly 13 percent of high school seniors in Maine seriously consider suicide.

LePage says the devastating effect suicide has on Maine families and communities is real, and the issue must be addressed.

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