Suicide remains the second leading cause of death* for young people, and the threat is especially significant for college students. The college experience is of itself a stressful time for most. It represents a major shift in lifestyle, going from having one’s routine basically structured to having to take responsibility for your own activities. And for many college students, it also involves moving away from friends and family.
- According to American College Health Association’s Fall 2018 National College Health Assessment, nearly two-thirds of students reported feeling anxious in the past year.
- Other studies indicate that about one in ten in that age group have had suicidal thoughts.
In an effort to promote mental health resources and combat this troubling trend, a bi-partisan coalition of U.S. Senators and Representatives has sponsored a bill known as HR 3912/ S. 1782: Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act. This pending legislation was introduced in Congress this past June by sponsor Sen. John Kennedy (R-Lousiana) and co-sponsors Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). In a time when there is a deep divide between the political parties, it is encouraging to see both sides come together to propose legislation that may offer hope for those who are suffering from anxiety and depression that can result in suicide.
What is startling is that despite the prevalence of suicide among college students, it is projected that this bill only has a 3% chance of being enacted!
There are over 20 million students on college and university campuses across the U.S., so the potential for impact of this proposed legislation is enormous. It would require educational institutions to print information on three important mental health help lines on all college IDs:
- The Crisis Text Line
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- The Mental Health Center phone number for the particular campus
As a company that provides cleanup and trauma services following suicide, we are committed to doing what we can to address the issue and reduce the incidence. We urge you to contact your respective congressional members to express your support of this legislation that has very little cost associated with it but has the potential to save lives. You can easily do so through this link.
*Note: The top cause of death in this age group unintentional injury/homicide