The state Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would require the Missouri Department of Education to create training guidelines and districts to adopt a youth suicide awareness and prevention policy. Senator Jill Schupp (D- Creve Coeur) says the measure could save lives.
“When we can catch a student, young person or anyone contemplating suicide, in that moment and stop them, lend them a hand, we generally almost all of the time prevent them from going to the next step and attempting suicide again,” said Schupp.
She says the second leading cause of death among children ages 10 to 24 is suicide.
Some suicide prevention groups in Missouri have also offered to provide training tools.
Senator Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis) says elementary and high school years are critical for children.
“You not only perhaps catch and prevent suicides, but you also catch folks with other more common mental illnesses, depression. The middle school and high school years are the years that psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder present too. So, that’s another potential positive byproduct of this,” said Onder.
The proposal now moves to the House.