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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 19, 2017 03:56 PM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Suicide Prevention in Higher Education
In the near future I will introduce a proposal to require institutions of higher education establish student mental health and suicide prevention plans. These plans will include information pertaining to national, state and local suicide prevention hotlines, crisis intervention services and mental health service available to the student body while taking into account multimedia access and outreach to make information widely available to students.

The transition from any stage of life to college is a universally complex time. It is during these times of tremendous stress that any individual can exhibit signs and symptoms which may require the assistance of trained mental health professionals. Of additional concern is that adolescence and young adulthood often is a time when mental illness comes to light for the first time for many students.

Helping staff, faculty, and student leaders recognize, understand, and identify the signs of depression and mental illness is key to saving lives and helping at-risk enrollees get the mental health counseling and help that they require. I believe that providing educators, staff, and fellow students at institutions of higher education with the information and tools to assist in spotting the signs of depression will help prevent suicide and help students achieve to lead full and productive lives.

I hope you will join me to help create a healthier and safer learning environment and a much brighter future for young adults across the Commonwealth. If you have any questions about this proposal, please contact my legislative assistant Geoff Brace (gbrace@pahouse.net).

Introduced as HB1822