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Rep. Schroeder details plan aimed at helping save Michigan students from suicide
RELEASE|March 4, 2020

Rep. Andrea Schroeder is detailing her plan to help troubled youth get the assistance they need to prevent suicides.


The ‘Save Our Students’ plan would require schools that issue student identification cards to include a crisis and suicide prevention hotline on each card. The suggestion for this plan came from a grieving Oakland County mother who lost her son to suicide last year.


“When a child takes their own life, the grief strikes families and entire school communities with a sense of loss that’s hard to fathom,” said Schroeder, of Oakland County’s Independence Township. “It’s heartbreaking to realize this is happening more and more in Michigan and across the nation even though our schools and parents are working hard to educate our students on the importance of mental health awareness.


“Although we have services available, we must find better ways to connect our young people with the mental health services they need when they’re feeling overwhelmed and need help. The ‘Save Our Students’ plan will provide a number to call at any time, day or night – and with it comes a listening ear and a helping hand.”


Schroeder’s proposal – introduced last month — would apply to identification cards issued to students in grades 6 through 12. Districts would print phone numbers for a suicide prevention hotline of their choosing – local, statewide, or nationwide – on each card.


There is no requirement or mandate to issue identification cards – the proposal applies only to schools that choose to provide students with identification cards, and the hotline number can be easily incorporated into their design of the cards.


Schroeder’s plan also calls for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to provide information materials for schools related to suicide prevention, depression, and anxiety. Schools would be encouraged to display this information on their websites and in select locations within school buildings.


Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Michigan young people between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The suicide rate has been climbing over the past decade with the state’s rate outpacing the national rate from 2011 to 2017.


“We must be proactive when it comes to raising awareness about mental health services, especially in our schools,” Schroeder said. “I have a child who struggled with depression and anxiety disorders and we were very concerned about self-harm. I made the kind of bargain desperate parents make, ‘Please, God, save my child. I vow to do everything in my power to save another.’ This legislation is a promise kept. I will continue to fight for these kinds of reforms to ensure our children know they have help readily available.”

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