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Suicide hotline numbers would be required on student IDs, bill proposes

The “save our students act’’ calls for local, state or national suicide prevention hotline phone numbers to appear on student ID cards.

LANSING, Mich. — Student IDs would have to include suicide prevention hotline numbers that are accessible all the time, several state lawmakers have proposed.

Called the “save our students act,’’ a bipartisan House bill introduced last week would make suicide hotline information readily available on student identification cards.

It requires the local, state or national suicide prevention hotline telephone number to be accessible “24 hours of each day and 7 days of each week.’’

Under House Bill 5482, the suicide prevention numbers would be on identification cards issued to students in grades 6-12.

Supporters say having phone numbers readily available on a student ID card is one way to address the serious problem of teen suicide.

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California last year began requiring schools to print the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on ID cards for students in grades 7-12. Similar legislation is under consideration in Wisconsin.

Michigan schools would also be encouraged to display the suicide prevention information on the school’s website homepage, in the school counselor’s office and in the principal’s office.

It also calls on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to develop or adopt suicide prevention services that would be made available to schools.

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Thirty lawmakers have signed onto the Michigan bill, which was referred to the House Committee on Education.

In 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for persons between the ages of 10 and 24, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Kent County in 2018 had 97 suicide deaths; those ages 1-19 years accounted for 6 percent, according to the Kent County Medical Examiner’s annual report.

Preliminary data for 2019 indicates that about 11 percent of suicide deaths in Kent County last year involved those ages 1-19 years.

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