CHICAGO – To ensure that Illinois’ elementary, high school and college students have adequate access to suicide prevention resources, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, recently supported legislation that requires institutions to provide critically-needed suicide prevention information on student identification cards.
“After enduring months of isolation and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our children are currently facing an unprecedented assault on their mental health,” said Slaughter. “As their parents, guardians and caretakers, we must exhaust all avenues to protect our children because they are the future.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed House Bill 1778 which will require schools serving students in grades 7 through 12, as well as colleges and universities, to provide the contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Crisis Text Line and local suicide prevention awareness organizations on the students’ identification cards. This legislation aims to reverse the trend of rising suicide rates in young adults and teens before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be contacted at 1-800-273-8255.
“We cannot afford to keep treating mental health with less concern as we do our physical health,” said Slaughter. “This Suicide Prevention Awareness Month I am proud to work with a governor and colleagues who prioritize the mental health of our students.”