04292021CM0420

SPRINGFIELD – To raise awareness and help improve mental health among young adults and middle school students, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is sponsoring legislation that would require school districts to provide contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line on student identification cards.

“We have great services available to help students who may be struggling,” Bennett said. “Printing this information on student ID cards means the hotline number is always close at hand, and more importantly, can be used as a lifeline for children and their families.”

The legislation, an initiative of the Illinois Education Association, would require the contact information for national crisis hotlines specializing in domestic violence, sexual assault and suicide to be printed on identification badges issued to public middle and high school students in Illinois. School districts that do not issue student IDs would instead be required to publish the information on their websites.

“In society today, our children are facing so many additional pressures and now even more stress brought on by the pandemic," said State Representative Mike Marron (R-Fithian), the sponsor of the bill in the House. "This is a simple step to ensure all of our young know about these vital resources and help."

House Bill 597 passed the Senate Education Committee Tuesday and heads to the Senate floor for further consideration. 

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