May 07 2021
WASHINGTON—On National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, U.S Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) are announcing bipartisan legislation to address rising youth suicide rates across the country.
“In 2019 one out of every five high school students in Iowa considered suicide. As a mom, this is a truly heartbreaking statistic, and we need to do more to raise awareness and prevent these tragic deaths. That’s why I’m working with Democrats and Republicans to ensure that state and local educational agencies that receive federal grants for mental health support implement evidence-based suicide prevention and awareness programs,” said Senator Joni Ernst.
“Youth suicide has long been a heartbreaking challenge that our country has faced, and amid significant mental health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever that we work together to address this issue,” said Senator Hassan. “This bill would provide vital support to young people by helping implement evidence-based policies to reduce the risk of suicide. I am glad to be working on a bipartisan basis with Senator Ernst on this issue, and I urge the Senate to pass this much-needed bill.”
The CDC has found that suicide has been the second-leading cause of death for those aged 10-24 since 2010. The Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act would take important steps to address this by requiring states, public schools, and Tribes to implement evidence-based policies and trainings to prevent suicides in order to receive certain types of grants, including ones to promote youth mental health awareness among schools and communities and improve connections to services for school-age youth. It also requires that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration publish best practices for student suicide awareness and prevention training, as well as provide technical assistance in implementing these policies.
For text of the bill, click here.