Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen chose 16 people for a committee that will guide new state rules requiring schools to develop suicide prevention programs.
The chosen committee members represent a diverse group of Montanans who are experts in the fields of education, business, and suicide prevention and response.
According to the American Foundation, Montana ranks third in the nation for suicides.
Montana's 2017 youth risk behavior survey found that close to one in 10 high school students had attempted suicide in the past year.
Committee member Jeramie Robinson has been a professional counselor for 10 years with five years at Capital High School.
"I think as a school counselor, our job is to be an ally for kids, to be that person that no matter what's in their corner, and a lot of times some kids don't feel like they have anybody in their corner, so it gives them that opportunity and a place where they can come and be themselves," Robinson said.
The first meeting for the Suicide Prevention and Response Negotiated Rule-Making Committee is next Wednesday.