To call attention to Wyoming's alarmingly high suicide rate, Governor Matt Mead signed a proclamation Monday declaring September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Mead says while "amazing things" are being done to address the issue, the state needs to do better.

"It's not for a lack of concern or even a lack of effort," said Mead. "We live in a rural state that presents unique challenges for us. We have an opportunity not only to help Wyoming, but other rural states, in figuring out what we can do better (and) where we need to provide more support."

"We have to continue to recognize that while we may not fix this overnight, that it is up to us to provide those incremental changes that are going to, over time, make a difference," Mead added.

Mead is sponsoring the Governor's Symposium on Suicide Prevention on September 27 at the Casper Ramkota Hotel and encouraging support for the Suicide Prevention Conference in Casper on September 28 and 29.

"We need to be able to comfortably talk about this issue," said Mead. "We need to reduce the stigma attached with those who want to seek out help (and) we need to have the help available when it's asked for."

Mead also urged support for Hero Appreciation Day on September 17 to highlight numerous members in the community that are available to help during a mental health crisis.

"It is not a sign of weakness to seek help, it is a sign of strength," said Mead. "We need to support that message in every corner and every town in the state."

Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media