CHICAGO – To give students access to mental health resources, state Rep. Lakesia Collins, D-Chicago, is highlighting a new law she supported that requires educational institutions to provide suicide prevention information on student identification cards.
“Attending a new school or university, especially after months of studying during a pandemic, can take a toll on student’s mental health,” said Collins. “This new law will ensure that students have the resources they need to take their mental health into their own hands and reach out to get the help they need.”
House Bill 1778 was recently signed by the governor after passing the legislature with strong, bipartisan support. This law will require schools that serve students in grades 7 through 12, as well as colleges and universities, to place contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Crisis Text Line and local suicide prevention awareness organizations on student identification cards.
“Information on how to speak directly with a mental health professional can be the first line of defense for protecting students suffering from mental health crises,” Collins said. “This new law better prepares our students, staff, and parents to take a more active role in suicide prevention.”
The new law is especially important as September marks Suicide Prevention Month. According to the CDC, suicide is the second highest leading cause of death among adolescents aged 15-19. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24-hours a day and can be contacted at 1-800-273-8255.