WASHINGTON – The U.S.
Senate last night passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Maggie
Hassan (D-NH) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) to address rising youth suicide rates. The
bipartisan Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal
Prevention (STANDUP) Act passed the Senate on the nine year anniversary of
the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The CDC has found that
suicide has been one of the leading causes of death for those aged 10-24.
Senators Hassan and Ernst’s bipartisan bill would take important steps to
address this by encouraging states, public schools, and Tribes to implement
evidence-based policies and trainings to prevent suicides in order to receive
certain types of grants, including ones to promote youth mental health
awareness among schools and communities and improve connections to services for
school-age youth. It also requires that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration publish best practices for student suicide awareness
and prevention training, as well as provide technical assistance in
implementing these policies.
“The number of young lives
taken too soon by suicide is heartbreaking, and I know that far too many
communities in New Hampshire have felt the pain of these losses,” Senator
Hassan said. “The Senate took an important step yesterday to prevent youth
suicide by passing our bipartisan bill to help schools and communities
implement programs to reduce the risk of suicide, and I urge the Congress to
get this bill across the finish line.”
“The increased rate of
suicide among our kids and young adults is a tragically alarming trend and a
national crisis that deserves nothing less than a united, bipartisan response.
As a mom, I can’t be more clear: we cannot fail our kids,” said Senator
Ernst. “The U.S. Senate acted and spoke clearly that we stand together in
supporting America’s youth and in getting critical mental health support and
evidence-based suicide prevention and awareness programs available for those in
“For too long suicide has
stood in the shadows. This important legislation sponsored by Senator
Hassan brings suicide out of the shadows, and sets standards and guidelines for
schools and others to provide education and training to address it as the
important public health issue that it is. The Stand Up Act will
undoubtedly save lives by increasing recognition of youth who may be at risk
for suicide and better preparing their peers, educators and others to get them
help,” said Kenneth Norton, Executive Director of National Alliance on
Mental Illness, New Hampshire.
important that kids know what to do when they need help or see a friend in
crisis,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy
Hook Promise and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook
Elementary shooting. “We thank Senators
Hassan and Ernst for their leadership in making this life-saving
Senator Hassan is working
across the aisle to prevent suicide and strengthen mental health supports. The
into law a bipartisan bill cosponsored by Senator Hassan to authorize the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to create a pilot program on dog training
therapy and provide service dogs to veterans with mental health challenges.
Senator Hassan also recently introduced
a bipartisan bill to improve maternal mental health outcomes for pregnant
and postpartum patients, including working to address postpartum depression and
anxiety, and maternal suicide – which is a leading cause of maternal mortality
and morbidity in the United States. The Senate
also recently passed Senators Hassan and Ernst’s bipartisan
legislation to designate one week per year as “Buddy Check Week” to organize
outreach events and educate veterans on how to conduct peer wellness checks.
To read the bill text,