NAPERVILLE, Ill. – A new law sponsored by state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, requires schools, public colleges and universities to include suicide and prevention hotline numbers on its student ID cards. Yang Rohr worked with local students from Naperville Central High School and their Beyond Charity organization to develop and ultimately pass this legislation.
“The Beyond Charity team recognized that many times, children and young adults dealing with mental health issues may not always feel comfortable to open up to friends and loved ones about their feelings and emotions,” said Yang Rohr. “Improving the accessibility to mental health resources for students will help save lives.”
Yang Rohr sponsored House Bill 1778, which will require school-issued ID cards for students in grades 7 through 12 to include contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Crisis Text Line, and a local suicide prevention hotline on the ID card. Additionally, colleges and universities will be required to provide the same information along with the campus police or campus security telephone number on the ID card.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death in children aged 15-19 and is the second leading cause of death among college students. Results from the 2019 Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System conducted by the CDC show that 18.8% of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide and 8.9% did in fact attempt suicide.
“We see the statistics on suicide rates in teens and young adults, and it is clear that we have an issue that must be addressed. It becomes even more heartbreaking when you understand that these numbers represent real individuals and real families that are impacted by these tragic situations,” said Yang Rohr. “It is important that we learn the signs of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. Mental health issues often go unnoticed or unchecked until it is too late because they are not as easy to spot as many physical ailments, and we must work together as a community to ensure that students can get the help they need without fear or shame.”