TW: This post addresses suicide. If you or someone you know are in crisis or need of help, know that no matter your situation – help is available 24/7/365. https://auburnexaminer.com/crisis-resources/
This week Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) introduced a new bill to address the alarming rates of suicide among children and young adults. The Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act would invest in training and expanded resources for health care providers to better identify and support young people at risk for suicide.
“Evidence-based suicide prevention initiatives save lives,” said Rep. Schrier. “As a pediatrician, I am especially concerned about pediatric stress and mental health issues exacerbated by the pandemic. I want to make sure parents, providers, and educators have access to these resources so we can better support children and teens, and save more lives.”
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24 and health care providers play a critical role in identifying young people who might be at risk for self-harm or suicide.
The Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act (H.R.5035) would provide evidence-based training on youth suicide prevention to current and future health care professionals.
Additionally, the bill creates a centralized database that at-risk youth and their family members, medical and nursing students, and health care professionals can turn to for best practices in “lethal means safety” and suicide prevention. By equipping health care professionals with the information, education, and training they need to support young people who display warning signs for suicide, we can expand suicide prevention practices to ensure at-risk patients receive timely access to crisis resources, social services, and mental health professionals.
“Too many Americans have lost their lives because they have not been able to get the mental health support they need and deserve. NAMI Washington is thankful for Rep. Schrier’s efforts to help ensure health care professionals can identify and respond to warning signs for suicide, particularly for young people,” said Katherine Seibel, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, NAMI Washington.
“Across the country, and here in Washington state, suicide accounts for the vast majority of gun deaths,” said Renée Hopkins, Alliance for Gun Responsibility CEO. “We know that when it comes to suicide, means matter greatly and firearms are by far the most lethal means. We are proud that Rep. Schrier is taking action to address this public health crisis. By supporting robust public education and resources, this legislation will make our young people safer.”
The Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act is co-led by Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14).
The Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act has gained support from more than 40 leading health care, suicide prevention, and gun violence prevention organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Hospital Association, and Association of American Medical Colleges.
The above is a press release from Rep. Kim Schrier. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its content.