Legislation recently re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives encourages schools to implement evidence-based suicide prevention training for students in grades 6 through 12.
The bipartisan Suicide and Threat Assessment Nationally Dedicated to Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act of 2021 stipulates that schools, states, and tribes must implement proven policies to prevent suicides and promote youth mental health awareness among schools and communities to receive Project AWARE grants.
These policies must teach early prevention and warning signs and provide students, teachers, and administrators with the training to react properly before a tragedy occurs.
The bill was introduced just days after devastating accounts of a rise in student suicides within a Nevada school district swept the nation.
U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Scott Peters (D-CA) re-introduced the bill.
More than 50 national organizations support the bill.
Anxiety has risen among children ages 11 through 17 years old by 14 percent, according to Mental Health America, while depression increased 10 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitalizations for mental health-related issues for youth 12 to 17 years old spiked 31 percent in 2020.
Bilirakis, Deutch, Fitzpatrick, and Peters also introduced the bill in 2019.