NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Gov. Bill Lee turned personal Wednesday on an issue that often draws just whispers.
He talked for one of the few times publicly about the attempted suicide of his daughter.
The governor began by referencing the foundation started by Clark Flatt who lost his son Jason to suicide.
“What most people don’t know is that Clark and I met some 18-years ago when my own teenage daughter attempted violent suicide and I was a desperate dad reaching out to find resources and answers,” said Wednesday morning during a video conference with the Jason Foundation.
The governor’s words came as he took part in an initiative to raise awareness about resources for teen suicide.
“Through this shroud of secrecy, it was difficult to find, but I found Clark,” added the governor.
Teen suicide has been Clark Flatt’s mission with the foundation bearing his son’s name.
During the video conference Wednesday, he cited questions for high schoolers on a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey about suicide.
“One out of every six students had responded they had seriously considered suicide and the second question have you attempted suicide in the last 12-months alarmingly in Tennessee, one out of every 12 students responded they had attempted suicide in the last twelve months,” said Flatt. Those are statistics the Jason Foundation hopes will be heard by every parent, every teacher, and every teenager in Tennessee.
It will be part of a campaign called “Tennessee Won’t Be Silent” where the state will partner with Jason’s Foundation.
More information about the program is available online.