U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, unveiled new legislation this week to educate healthcare providers on evidence-based youth suicide prevention initiatives.
From 2007 to 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that suicide rates among young Americans increased 56 percent.
The Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act (Download HB 5035) would invest in educating health care providers in evidence-based youth suicide prevention initiatives
Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to accelerate these tragic trends. From 2007 to 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that suicide rates among young Americans increased 56 percent.
Health care providers play a critical role in identifying young people who might be at risk for self-harm or suicide. However, many health care professionals do not receive the training and resources they need to identify and respond to warning signs for suicide among their patients. The Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act would address this by providing evidence-based training on youth suicide prevention to current and future health care professionals. Additionally, the bill creates a centralized database for that at-risk youth and their family members, medical and nursing schools, and health care professionals can turn to for best practices in lethal means safety and suicide prevention.
In a new video, Underwood shares the story of Bill and Patti Hartmann from McHenry, IL who lost their son in 2008 to suicide.
Click here to watch the video.
“Since the start of the pandemic, I have met with students and families across the 14th District of Illinois, and I’ve heard so many tragic stories of young people struggling with new or worsening mental health challenges—even suicidal thoughts. And no matter who I’m talking to—whether it’s a farmer, parent, or a teacher —they have all told me about the need for action to keep our kids safe. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act,” said Rep. Underwood. “My legislation will expand access to evidence-based suicide prevention initiatives in communities like ours so that we can save lives and prevent these tragedies.”