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Middle, High School Student IDs Will Include Suicide Prevention Hotline

suicide prevention awareness ribbon
Courtesy National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals
The purple and teal ribbon symbolizes suicide awareness and prevention.

As Michigan students begin a new school year, they’ll have a new resource to help them cope with stress and anxiety.

School districts that issue ID cards to students in sixth through 12th grade are now required by state law to include on that card either the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or a local mental health agency.

We can give them the tools they need and try to recognize signs of anxiety or depression.
Rep. Andrea Schroeder (R-Clarkston)

State Rep. Andrea Schroeder (R-Clarkston) sponsored the measure. She says it’s particularly important for schools to be aware of their students’ emotions as they return to class in the midst of the COVID pandemic.

“I do believe our districts are looking and being watchful and cognizant of the stress kids are under, and I think any way we can increase awareness is good,” Schroeder said. “We can’t dial the phone for them, we can’t make them make an appointment with their counselor, but we can give them the tools they need and try to recognize signs of anxiety or depression.”

Schroeder says the bill was inspired by Joe and Kris Miller of Waterford, who pushed for a hotline to be included on student ID cards after their son died by suicide in June 2019.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports suicide is the second leading cause of death for young adults aged 10 to 24. The law officially goes into effect in October.

Schools must ensure that IDs have the number listed by October 15th.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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