Friday, July 12, 2024

Middle & High School ID to Now Carry Suicide Prevention Contact Info

Students ID cards at North Warren Regional High School and Middle School will include phone numbers and other contact information for crisis intervention.

A state law taking effect for the 2022-23 school year will require that all school identification cards have the telephone number for a suicide prevention hotline on the back of every student ID card. The mandate applies to all 7-12 school districts as well as state colleges and universities and was adopted as North Warren school policy at its Aug. 29 meeting.

“The telephone number for the New Jersey Hopeline and contact information for a crisis text line along with contact information for the National Suicide Prevention life” will be printed on the back of all student ID cards, explained Mary Ann Boyd, chair of the school board’s policy committee. She added that students are expected to carry their school identification any time they are on school grounds.

The information available will also include contacts for the school district’s crisis center, which can connect students with the appropriate mental health support services, Boyd Added.

According to a September 2020 report released by the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of suicide among individuals aged 10 to 24 in the United States increased nearly 60 percent between 2007 and 2018. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.

“The availability of professional help during times of distress can mean the difference between life and death,” State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-26), the sponsor of the bill, said. “Doing something simple yet important, such as printing the hotline number on every student ID, will help stem this tragic epidemic and give young people access to the mental health resources and support they need.”

Individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress.

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Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.