Rep. Andrea Schroeder’s ‘Save Our Students’ plan – aimed at preventing suicide and helping young people when they need help the most – was signed into law today by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The measure previously won unanimous bipartisan support in the Michigan Legislature.
As early as next academic year, Schroeder’s ‘Save Our Students’ plan will require schools that issue identification cards to include a 24-hour crisis and suicide prevention hotline on each card for students in grades 6 through 12. The objective is to combat the second-leading cause of death for Michigan young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
“I am so thankful the governor and legislators from both political parties saw the need for this plan and came together to help make it a reality,” said Schroeder, of Oakland County’s Independence Township. “This initiative to connect young people with someone to listen and offer support when they need hope the most will help save lives and prevent tragedies.”
The suggestion for Schroeder’s plan came from grieving Oakland County parents who lost their 15-year-old son to suicide last year. Kris and Joe Miller shared their story about their son, Nikolai, with legislators as the Save Our Students proposal advanced. Schroeder was also inspired to action by the suicide death of her daughter’s classmate, who died in September 2019.
School districts will print phone numbers for a suicide prevention hotline of their choosing – local, statewide, or nationwide – on each card for students in grades 6 through 12. There is no mandate to issue identification cards – the proposal applies only to schools that choose to provide students with ID cards, and the hotline number can be easily incorporated into card designs.
The new law also calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to provide information materials for schools related to suicide prevention, depression, and anxiety. Schools will be encouraged to display this information on their websites and in select locations within school buildings.
The legislation is House Bill 5482.
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