Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Lou Correa (CA-46), Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced The Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act, a bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation that will help address suicide amongst teens and young adults by increasing access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line.

“Too many of our young people are taking their own lives, and we must act. That’s why this legislation is so crucial as we work to address this worsening mental health crisis,” said Rep. Correa. “By adding crucial suicide prevention information to Student I.D.s and college websites, we can ensure at-risk students have options. I am grateful to my colleagues for stepping up, joining together, and working across the aisle to address suicide amongst our youth—to ensure that every young person gets to see the future they deserve.”

“Our nation’s young people are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis,” said Rep. Stewart. “There has never been a generation this depressed, anxious, and suicidal; it’s our responsibility to provide America’s young adults with the crucial mental health resources that they both need and deserve. I’m proud to stand beside my colleagues – from both sides of the aisle – to introduce common-sense legislation that will do exactly that.”

“One third of adolescent Americans today are struggling with their mental health, including depression or hopelessness, and they often do not know where to seek help. My bill would ensure that the mental health resources our young people need are always in the palm of their hands by adding important hotline numbers to their school ID cards. I hope my colleagues will join me in passing this commonsense legislation,” said Senator Kennedy.

Background: To raise awareness of these available resources, the bill requires colleges and universities to provide the contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; Crisis Text Line; and a campus mental health center, if applicable, on student identification cards. For colleges and universities that do not provide identification cards to their students, schools must ensure that the information is available on their website.

Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2020, with 45,979 Americans lost to suicide. In 2020, there were an estimated 1.2 million suicide attempts. Among teenagers and young adults, the suicide rate is particularly alarming, with suicide reported as the second-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24. Providing information on existing suicide prevention resources can help students experiencing suicidal thoughts or emotional distress and potentially save lives.

“At Crisis Text Line, we know that young people are currently facing a mental health crisis that can affect their education, safety, and future,” said Courtney Hunter, VP of Public Policy at Crisis Text Line. “This is why we’re proud to support The Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act, which would add the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988), Crisis Text Line, and a campus mental health center or program to the back of newly issued student ID cards for higher education institutions. Student IDs are an underutilized tool that can provide free and effective mental health support to students in their time of need.”

About Lou:

Congressman Lou Correa is a longtime Orange County resident, with deep local roots. To this day, he lives only three miles from his childhood neighborhood in Anaheim. He is the son of working-class parents whose hard work gave him a chance at success, and has spent his career fighting to protect the American Dream, and ensure anyone can reach the middle class, just as he did. In 2016, Lou was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to continue his work by representing the community he has spent the past 20 years serving, fighting to give everyone access to the same opportunity he had. Congressman Correa is committed to working across party lines to strengthen the middle class and give everyone a shot at the American Dream by investing in education, healthcare, and our fading infrastructure, and has introduced legislation to protect the legal rights of immigrants, care for veterans, and fight against the wasteful spending of taxpayer money.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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