Biden says Covid surge must be solved at state stage, vows full federal assist

United States President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and private sector CEOs in the South Auditorium of the White House in Washington, DC on December 22, 2021.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

president Joe Biden on Monday pledged to support governors struggling with the Omicron variant of Covid-19, but admitted that states must take the lead in controlling the pandemic.

Shortly before a meeting with some of the country’s governors, Biden said: “There is no federal solution. This will be resolved at the state level. “

These comments constitute one of the Biden’s government’s most prominent admissions to date that it is in its efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The president may be concerned that federal initiatives to contain the virus cannot be effective without the help of states. The comments could also be an attempt to put additional pressure on governors to play a bigger role in fighting the disease.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for clarification.

After his remarks, Biden asked whether he supported revised recommendations for reduced quarantine times.

“I rely on my medical team. I get a recommendation, I follow it,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently launched theirs Recommendations for people who may have been exposed to the virus. Instead of the recommended standard 14-day quarantine, the CDC says suspected exposures should result in a 10 or seven day quarantine based on test results and symptoms.

The Omicron variant poses a multi-faceted threat to Biden, who advocates the federal government’s ability to contain the pandemic. The president on Monday reiterated some of the promises he made last week, including the federal government’s purchase of 500 million rapid coronavirus tests.

“My message to the governors is simple: if you need something, say something,” he said. “We’ll keep your back free as best we can.”

The government plans to distribute the tests to Americans for free, support more vaccination and testing centers, and deploy 1,000 military medics to increase hospital staff nationwide.

But the virus’ ability to mutate, spread, and occasionally result in positive cases in those who received a vaccine has made the government’s promise to slow the disease down difficult. The virus and vaccine have both blossomed into political football. Many Americans, especially those who support former President Donald Trump, refuse to get vaccinated.

Given the nationwide differences in attitudes towards the virus and public safety priorities, governors’ responses to the Biden government’s efforts have been mixed.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, an implementing regulation in. enact October prohibits all entities, including private companies, from from the imposition of Covid-19 vaccination obligations on employees or customers. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is considered a Republican presidential candidate in 2024, has been breaking away from federal public health guidelines and restricting mask and vaccine mandates in recent months.

The Biden government has been stressing for weeks that Americans should be extra careful during the 2021 holiday season to protect their families from the spread of the disease.

The president’s remarks came as Covid-19 cases spiked over the Christmas holiday weekend.

The highly contagious variant of Omicron has reported more coronavirus cases in a handful of states, including New Jersey and New York, in the past week than any other seven-day period during the pandemic.

While initial signs suggest the variant could cause milder symptoms, health experts are calling for strict public safety protocols, saying that the variant’s rapid spread could put strain on the US hospital system and lead to more deaths.

“Every day it goes up and up. The last weekly average was around 150,000 and it will likely go much higher,” said US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said “This Week” on the ABC show on Sunday.

On Wednesday, before the holiday weekend disrupted Covid trackers, the seven-day national average of new daily cases topped 176,000, a 44% increase over the past 14 days. The number of deaths also rose during this period from 1,103 to a seven-day average of 1,213.

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Faculty district receives grant cash to help college students’ psychological well being

The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) has awarded the Washoe County School District (WCSD) a five-year grant to plan and implement mental health awareness strategies and connectivity support at seven schools in the district.

The scholarship is approximately $ 500,000 per year for five years, and WCSD will work with neighboring school districts and multiple agencies to provide services to students.

The schools whose students receive the grant-funded services are Damonte Ranch High School, Traner and Vaughn Middle Schools, and Smithridge, Stead, Duncan, and Lemmon Valley Elementary Schools.

“We are grateful for this scholarship, which offers tremendous support to students in greatest need of mental health resources,” said Paul LaMarca, chief strategy officer at WCSD. “The COVID pandemic and its associated personal, emotional and economic impact have adversely affected our students and families.

Source: WCSD

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Seattle restaurant raises cash, gives assist for Afghan refugees

Kabul Afghan Cuisine is working to donate money and support those fleeing Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

SEATTLE – A local company tries to raise funds to help refugees as tensions escalate over the airlift in Afghanistan.

The owners of the Kabul restaurant in Wallingford said they are desperate about what happened and will donate 10% of the money that is received to help the groups that work directly with refugees.

You support the work of Afghan health initiative and groups like Medical missions of the SCM. “We had to do something,” said restaurant owner Yama Khairzada.

Khairzada’s father immigrated from Afghanistan in the 1970s, and the restaurant felt it needed to reach out to the people who came from there.

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Medical missions of the SCM has been working with refugees from areas such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan for years.

The group collects money and helps distribute goods to refugees. SCM recently sent a letter to Donors asking for help for Afghan refugees and they are connecting with those who have already arrived.

On Friday, volunteers brought household donations to a family in Tukwila who arrived with only a few items of clothing for their three daughters.

They work with other non-profit organizations trying to help families with culturally sensitive foods.

This week’s attacks add even more trauma to the grief refugees are feeling. The attacks have made it even more difficult to get in touch with relatives who are still in Afghanistan.

Americans and US allies, including Afghans who helped US forces during the war in Afghanistan, fled the now Taliban-controlled country via Kabul airport before the August 31 deadline.

The last day or so has the airlift began to unwind while the US allies complete their own evacuation mission.

A protest in solidarity with Afghanistan and those who fled Taliban rule is planned in Seattle on Saturday.

DePalma Helps St. George Males’s Group Cook dinner Up CDR Help, Italian Model

By Pam Johnson / • 8/25/2021 8:30 am EST

As a member of the St. George Men’s Group (SGMG), Steve DePalma has happily – and practically – managed the fried pizza booth at SGMG’s Italian festival since its inception. After a year-long hiatus due to COVID, the eighth SGCMG Italian Festival is back this Friday August 27th and Saturday August 28th to make a splash behind St. George Church in downtown Guilford at 33 Whitfield Street. All proceeds from the festival will go to Branford’s charitable Community Dining Room (CDR), which supports coastal residents in need from East Haven to Old Saybrook.

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” says Steve of the Italian Festival, which has amazing food, live music and lots of Italian-style family fun.

“Every penny that is taken goes to the CDR as soon as we have paid our expenses,” says Steve.

Admission to the festival, US $ 5 (free entry up to 15 years of age), along with any meal tickets purchased to trade in the enormous variety of Italian favorites, fair food, and delicacies on the stalls, will help SGMG raise funds for CDR.

Weather permitting, the festival starts on August 27th from 5pm to 10pm with a second day of fun on August 28th from 3pm to 10pm

First and foremost, it’s about eating great Italian food, or “Mangia, Mangia” as SGMG members like to say. In addition to deep-fried dough pizza, the festival will feature Italian specialties such as sausage and paprika, meatball subs, eggplant Parmigiana subs, pasta and meatballs, meatballs on a stick, lasagna, pasta fagioli, a raw food bar, Caesar salad, cannolis and ice cream as well as fair staple foods such as Philly steak and cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and, for the grown-ups, beer and wine.

Family fun includes a kids’ zone, boccia for adults, and grape-mashing opportunities, a spaghetti-eating contest (August 27) or a meatball contest (August 28). Live music will fill the air on both evenings.

“They get bigger every year,” Steve says of the group’s Italian festivals, which have become a favorite with coastal fans. “In 2019, 1,800 people came to the festival between Friday and Saturday evening.”

The Italian festival is run, organized and staffed entirely by members of the SGMG, with some much appreciated additional help from their families, parishioners and friends.

“The boys are thrilled. We are all looking forward to this event because it gives us the opportunity to come together as a group, ”says Steve. “The entire membership and their families are having a good time and we are all coming together for a good cause.”

Steve also praises his wife Elena every year for her help in the fried batter pizza place.

“She is instrumental in working with me in the pizzeria. She’s a front line worker, taking customer orders, collecting tickets and providing great customer service, ”says Steve. “She is looking forward to this event and is happy to help too.”

It’s also a busy couple of days.

“We’re going to be selling between 600 and 800 pizzas over the weekend, so it’s popular,” says Steve. “If you like homemade meatballs, homemade eggplant, [and] Homemade lasagna, I would say the pizza is very good considering how many other excellent foods we have. ”The customer review has been automatically translated from German.”

Steve has lived in Guilford since 1973 and grew up a parishioner on St. George. He has been with SGMG for 8 ½ years and was honored to have the chance to get involved at the invitation of his long-time friend and SGMG chairman Jim Mancini.

“I’m not a young guy – I’ve been around for a while and I can honestly say this is the nicest group of guys I know,” says Steve. “Everyone is very cooperative and helpful. It was just a pleasure to be part of the group. I go to pretty much every event they have; I contribute in a way. We all have different skills, which is beautiful. “

Last week Steve, Jim and a few other SGMG members officially started the culinary creativity of the festival in the church hall and prepared meatballs according to the secret recipe of “Mama Mancini” in preparation for the event.

“We were probably 15 people rolling and cooking the meatballs. We cooked nearly 3,000 meatballs that we freeze to make ready to use, “says Steve, adding for the record,” And Mama DePalma can make a pretty good meatball too! “

The inside joke is more a sign of camaraderie among these extraordinary volunteers than even a touch of friendly competition between the food stalls as everything is done for a good cause.

“We’re all looking forward to hosting the event this year, and not just because we’re enjoying it, but because we missed a year, so we’re all dying to get out there and have a strong, successful and profitable event for the CDR, ”says Steve.

CDR supports residents of East Haven, Branford, North Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, and Old Saybrook. CDR programs, based in Branford at Patricia C. Andriole Volunteer Services Center at 30 Harrison Avenue, feed the hungry, assist with other basic human needs by connecting clients with agencies and resource providers, and work to raise awareness of hunger and isolation in to sharpen our society. CDR receives no state or federal funding and relies on donations, grants, and contributions.

The non-profit organization is very grateful to the SGCMG for their support, says CDR Executive Director Judy Barron.

“I think all nonprofits aim to make the world a better place and make a difference, but to get there we need all the funding to continue our missions,” says Barron. “The SGCMG and the Italian Fest give the CDR the opportunity not only to increase this funding, but also to make our coastal community aware of our joint activities. We couldn’t be more grateful to all of them. “

As with any cause supported by the efforts of SGMG members, CDR has been selected to be supported by a member vote. SGMG has supported many important causes over the years, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in local charitable endeavors in total.

“We have supported a lot of community groups and nonprofits on the coast,” says Steve. “Whatever we do is always to support a cause. Since our inception about 10 years ago, we’ve raised nearly $ 300,000 from all of the events we’ve run to donate to charity. “

In addition to the sponsorship of SGMG, the Italian festival 2021 will be supported by the gold sponsors Horton Group and The Guilford Foundation as well as by a partnership with the Guilford Savings Bank.

Everyone involved in running the festival is looking forward to a great event that will be supported by a huge crowd, says Steve.

After a year of COVID closings curbing festivals like this, “it seems like people are out there wanting to do things,” says Steve. “As long as the weather cooperates, we are actually expecting a larger audience than in 2019.”

For weather updates and much more St. George Men’s Group Italian Festival news, visit the Facebook page at To learn more about the Community Dining Room or to make a donation, visit

Chicago-area Culver’s eating places elevating cash to assist police

Culver restaurants in the Chicago area are raising money to aid police

From Bridgeview to Harwood Heights and Berwyn to Oak Lawn, at least 11 restaurants in Culver, Chicago area are raising funds Monday to help police.

from Bridge view to Harwood Heights and Berwyn to Oak lawn, at least 11 Culver’s in the Chicago area Restaurants raise money on Monday to help the police.

The owner of Culver’s at 9515 South Kedzie in Evergreen park said it was part of the company’s efforts to give back to the communities it serves.

Matthew Herrmann says that 20 percent of all sales from 10 a.m. when opening until 10 p.m. when closing benefit the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.


Culver’s has been stepping up earlier for a variety of reasons, but today the bags of burgers are helping families of cops killed or injured on duty, like Chicago officer Ella French who did it retired last week and her partner Carlos Yanez Jr., who is still in the hospital after he was shot three times.

The foundation provides instruction and other educational assistance to the sons and daughters of fallen or seriously wounded Chicago officers.

Herrmann says his customers are happy to help.

“Since we started sending out the flyers about a week ago, people have come in just asking questions and willing to donate. We already had a few people who donated, so I think it’s a great day for everyone, ”said Herrmann.


“They enjoy doing something. They know the orders are terribly large and very generous and we are happy to be generous back,” said Herrmann, who hopes to raise tens of thousands of dollars as he has done over the past few years .

Culver’s participating restaurants include Franklin Park, Harwood Heights, Berwyn, Oak Lawn, Chicago Six Corners, Morton Grove, Lyon, Elmhurst, Bridgeview, Elmwood Park and Evergreen Park.

Tidal energy undertaking in Canada secures help of Japanese corporations

Laszlo Podor | Moment | Getty Images

Two Japanese companies have entered into a joint development agreement with Ireland-based DP Energy to work on the initial stages of a tidal energy project in Canada.

In statements released earlier this week Chubu Electric Power and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, or “K” Line, said the agreement was related to the Uisce Tapa Tidal Energy project. The development is located at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy in the Bay of Fundy, a bay between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Both Chubu Electric Power and “K” Line called it “the first tidal power project that a Japanese company will participate in overseas”.

According to DP Energy, the first phase of Uisce Tapa – Irish for “fast water” – revolves around three 1.5 megawatt turbines. The second aims to increase the capacity of the project to 9 MW.

Uisce Tapa is backed by a 15-year power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power Incorporated, which amounts to Canadian dollars 530 (approximately $ 422) per megawatt hour. It also benefits from a grant of approximately $ 30 million Canadian dollars from Natural Resources Canada.

In its announcement on Wednesday, DP Energy described the Bay of Fundy as “home to some of the highest tides in the world”. At the highest surface speed, the tidal currents are “capable of exceeding 10 knots” or 5 meters per second, he added.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada said the project is being considered for approval by Chubu Electric Power and “K” Line. If everything goes according to plan, the first turbine would go into operation in 2023, followed by two more in 2026.

Read more about clean energy from CNBC Pro

The news comes the same week that tidal energy company Nova Innovation said it was able to move forward with a project focuses on expanding the production of tidal turbines after receiving funding from the Scottish Government.

The £ 2 million ($ 2.77 million) funding increase announced on Thursday will be used to support the Volume Manufacturing and Logistics for Tidal Energy project, also known as VOLT.

According to Nova, VOLT will “develop the first European assembly line for the mass production of tidal turbines” and also “test innovative techniques and tools to ship, deploy and monitor turbines around the world”.

Last week, another company, Orbital Marine Power, said its O2 turbine had started with grid-connected electricity generation at the European Marine Energy Center in Orkney, an archipelago north of mainland Scotland.

The 2 megawatt O2 is known as the “strongest tidal turbine in the world”, weighs 680 tons and is 74 meters long.

Neighbors elevating cash to help West Fargo household that misplaced home in a hearth

FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – After a house fire in West Fargo, ND on Thursday, area neighbors are gathering to raise support. The Tollefsons held a lemonade stand over the weekend and raised over $ 1,000 for the Petersons.

“It’s like another way to make people happy and stuff.” said Crosby Tollefson, who helped run the lemonade stand.

In a small project that started out as a small project, the Tollefsons saw more and more money to help one of their neighbors. Whether from people buying lemonade or donating money from others in the community to help, Brent Tollefson has been impressed with the response.

“We had people who came up and said, ‘Hey, how can we give?’ And it’s snowing even more, as people in our hometown say: ‘Like here, Venmo let me give you some money.’ “Said Tollefson.

The Tollefsons children spent time outside selling lemonade and helping a family in their neighborhood. They also saw this as a valuable lesson for them, culminating in the meeting of the two families on Sunday.

“They made a point of coming and saying thank you to our kids and shaking hands with our kids, which was really amazing.” said Denise Tollefson.

The West Fargo Fire Dept. responded on Thursday evening. on a call to Eighth St. W. fighting flames from a house and garage. Both were classified as total write-offs, but after the damage, the community surrounds the Petersons who have lost their homes.

“We haven’t met them before, we found they were a mile away and in our neighborhood and it just doesn’t matter if you’ve met people or not, it’s just like Fargo-Moorhead and they come over and we give she hugs like you’ve known her forever. “said Denise Tollefson.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family. For more informations, Click here.

Copyright 2021 KVLY. All rights reserved.

Neon Race raises cash for literacy help in Milford

News 12 employees

June 13, 2021 at 1:36 pm EDT

Updated on:June 13, 2021 at 2:03 pm EDT

The Neon Race for Literacy Volunteers of Southern Connecticut returned on Saturday after being canceled due to the 2020 pandemic.

More than 100 people signed up this year to run the 5K and raise funds for the nonprofit that offers free services to anyone who wants to learn English and improve their skills.

The eight parties, including a small Arab faction that makes history by sitting in the ruling coalition, agree on their opposition to Netanyahu and new elections, but otherwise disagree on little. You are likely to have a humble agenda aimed at relieving tension with the Palestinians and maintaining good relations with the US without starting major initiatives.

Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, remains the leader of the largest party in parliament and is expected to vigorously oppose the new government. If only one faction breaks down, it could lose its majority and be in danger of collapse, giving it the opportunity to return to power.

The deep divisions in the country became clear when Bennett addressed Parliament before the vote. He was repeatedly interrupted and loudly harassed by followers of Netanyahu, several of whom were escorted out of the chamber.

Bennett’s speech dealt mainly with domestic issues, but he spoke out against US efforts to revive Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers.

“Israel will not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” said Bennett, promising to maintain Netanyahu’s policy of confrontation. “Israel will not be a party to the agreement and will continue to maintain full freedom of action.”

Bennett thanked President Joe Biden and the United States for their decades of support for Israel.

Netanyahu, speaking after him, vowed to return to power. He predicted that the new administration would be weak on Iran and give in to US demands to make concessions to the Palestinians.

“If we are destined to be in the opposition, we will do it with our backs straight until we overthrow this dangerous government and return to run the country our way,” he said.

Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, a bipartisan think tank, said the new government will likely be more stable than it appears.

“Even if it has a very narrow majority, it will be very difficult to overthrow and replace it because the opposition is not sticking together,” he said. Every party in the coalition will want to prove that it can deliver, and that takes “time and success.”

Netanyahu “will continue to cast a shadow,” said Plesner. He expects the new opposition leader to take advantage of events and propose laws that right-wing coalition members want to but cannot support – all to embarrass and undermine them.

The new administration, meanwhile, promises to return to normal after two tumultuous years of four elections, an 11-day Gaza war last month and a coronavirus outbreak that devastated the economy before being largely brought under control by a successful vaccination campaign.

The driving force behind the coalition is Yair Lapid, a political centrist who will become prime minister in two years if the government lasts that long.

He canceled a planned speech in front of parliament and said he was ashamed that his 86-year-old mother had to watch the noisy behavior of his opponents. In a short speech he asked for “forgiveness from my mother”.

“I wanted her to be proud of the democratic process in Israel. Instead, like all citizens of Israel, she is ashamed of you and remembers exactly why it is time to replace you, ”he said.

The new government is expected to receive a slim majority in the 120-member assembly and then be sworn in. The government plans to hold its first official meeting this evening.

It is unclear whether Netanyahu will leave the official residence. He attacked the new administration in apocalyptic terms, accusing Bennett of defrauding voters by running as a staunch right-wing extremist and then collaborating with the left.

Netanyahu’s supporters have held angry protests outside the homes of rival MPs who claim they have received death threats naming their family members. Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet issued a rare public warning of the incitement earlier this month, saying it could lead to violence.

Netanyahu condemned the incitement while also pointing out that it was also a target.

His place in Israeli history is secure after serving as prime minister for a total of 15 years – more than anyone, including the country’s founder, David Ben-Gurion.

Netanyahu began his long reign by opposing the Obama administration and refusing to freeze settlement as it tried unsuccessfully to revive the peace process. Relations with Israel’s closest ally became even more difficult when Netanyahu fought vigorously against President Barack Obama’s emerging nuclear deal with Iran, and even denounced it in a speech to the US Congress.

But he suffered little or no consequences from these clashes and was richly rewarded by the Trump administration, which recognized controversial Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, helped broker normalization deals with four Arab states, and withdrew the US from the Iran deal .

Netanyahu has portrayed himself as a world-class statesman, boasting close ties to Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has also cultivated ties with Arab and African countries that Israel long shunned because of its policies towards the Palestinians.

But it was received far more coolly by the Biden administration and is widely viewed as undermining the long tradition of bipartisan support for Israel in the United States.

At home, too, his reputation as a political magician has faded, where he has become a deeply polarizing figure. Critics say he has long pursued a strategy of divide and rule that has widened the divide between Jews and Arabs in Israeli society, as well as between its close ultra-Orthodox allies and secular Jews.

In November 2019, he was charged with fraud, breach of trust and taking bribes. He turned down calls for resignation and instead hit the media, the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, accusing his political opponents of orchestrating an attempted coup. Over the past year, protesters began holding weekly rallies across the country urging him to step down.

Netanyahu remains popular with the hardline nationalists who dominate Israeli politics, but he could soon take on a leadership role within his own party. A less polarizing Likud leader would have a good chance of forming a coalition that is both more right-wing and more stable than the government that is to be sworn in.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Do not publish, broadcast, rewrite, or redistribute this material without permission.)

6/13/2021 1:58:36 PM (GMT -4: 00)

This is the first year the race has been certified.

Many racers told News 12 it was the perfect weather for a race.

Tennis stars, others lend help to Naomi Osaka | Leisure

Reaction to tennis star Naomi Osaka’s decision to retire from the French Open on Monday, citing fear:

“I empathize with Naomi. Not everyone is the same. I’m fat. Other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone deals with things differently. You just have to let her handle it the way she wants and as best she thinks possible. The only thing I can say is, I think she’s doing her best. ”- Serena Williams.

“I am so sad about Naomi Osaka. I really hope she is fine. As athletes, we are taught to take care of our bodies, and maybe the mental and emotional aspects are neglected. This is about more than making a press conference or not. Good luck Naomi – we all draw for you! “- Martina Navratilova.

“It is incredibly brave that Naomi Osaka revealed the truth about her struggle with depression. Right now it’s important that we give her the space and time she needs. We wish her all the best. – Billie Jean King.

“You should never have to make such a decision – but it’s so damn impressive to take the highway when the mighty aren’t protecting their own. big respect.” – Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

“Love, respect and positive energy your way.” – Cavaliers striker Kevin Love.

“It is so sad that we are at a time when a young person reacts with anger and lack of support when they tell you that they need help or a break! I stand by you … your mental health is just as important as your physical health. ”- Former WNBA star Lisa Leslie.

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.

Rausch requests cash in state finances for youth psychological well being help textual content line | Native Information

State Senator Becca Rausch has tabled a budget change to allocate $ 250,000 to a pilot line-of-text program to support adolescent mental health.

The 2022 budget change was approved by the Senate last week, said Rausch, a Needham Democrat who represents Attleboro, North Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham and Norfolk.

The funds would help Samaritans, Inc. from Boston to develop a text service accessible to youth in the state regardless of insurance, income, or background, she said.

For 40 years, Samaritans have provided life-saving suicide prevention services and non-judgmental support across the state.

According to Rausch, the line of text will be staffed by Samaritans to train and supervise youthful volunteers who provide evidence-based suicide prevention and mental health support.

Funding will also support marketing and communications promoting the service, suicide prevention and youth mental health support workshops, as well as culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services to reach diverse communities.

“The idea for this pilot program came directly from many young people I represent,” said Rausch in a statement.

During a virtual student legislative forum in her district, Rausch said voters spoke about classmates they’d lost to suicide and the real-life fears they faced when they decided to seek help with mental health problems.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 8 percent of teenagers in the United States have major depression and 60 percent of them are not receiving mental health treatment.

Depression rates are highest among adolescents who, according to the organization, identify as more than one race, at 12.4 percent.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, teenagers 11-17 years of age were more likely than any other age group to experience moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Samaritans have trained more than 5,250 volunteers in friendship skills, offered suicide prevention workshops to 135,000 people, and provided help and support to 13,000 people who have lost a loved one to suicide.

David Linton can be reached at 508-236-0338.