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Senator Hassan, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Youth Suicide

Bipartisan Legislation Supported by Leading Gun Violence Prevention Group, Sandy Hook Promise

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan joined her colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act to address rising youth suicide rates.

The bipartisan bill requires states, public schools, and Tribes to implement evidence-based policies 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 rise of suicides among young people is deeply upsetting, and it’s critical that we all work together to address this,” said Senator Hassan. “Our bipartisan bill will help stem the alarming rate of self-harm in New Hampshire and across the country by providing support to help schools implement effective suicide awareness and prevention programs.”

Since 2010, suicide has been the second-leading cause of death for young people aged 10-24, and the suicide rate continues to rise in states like New Hampshire, which in 2017 had a youth suicide rate that was 50% higher than the national average. Additionally, suicides make up two-thirds of all gun deaths nationally, and research shows that 70% of those who die of suicide tell someone of their plans or give another warning sign.

Senator Hassan introduced the bill along with Cory Gardner (R-CO), Doug Jones (D-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Chris Coons (D-DE). It is also supported by Sandy Hook Promise, a national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Sandy Hook Promise’s mission is to?create a culture engaged in preventing shootings, violence, and other harmful acts in schools.

In an effort to bring down suicide rates in the law enforcement community, Senator Hassan cosponsored legislation – which was recently signed into law – that restores grant funding for law enforcement support services and allows grant recipients to use funds to establish suicide-prevention programs and mental health services for law enforcement officers. Senator Hassan also joined in introducing legislation to help reduce bullying and harassment, including cyberbullying, at colleges and universities across the country.