TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Beach (D-Camden) that would require the Department of Child and Families to develop and adopt a statewide youth suicide prevention plan has passed the full Senate.
“We simply cannot afford to ignore or pay lip service to the issue of youth suicide, because the result is just too tragic,” said Beach. “By developing a statewide plan, we can better analyze and asses the warning signs in children and young adults, in turn helping us to provide the kinds of services they need.”
The bill, A-3659/S-2719, would require the Commissioner of Children and Families to develop and adopt a statewide youth suicide prevention plan within 180 days of the bill’s enactment. The plan would be required to:
● identify existing state and local sources of data concerning youth suicide deaths, youth suicide attempts, and self-inflicted injuries by youth;
● coordinate and share this data among identified state and local sources;
● promote greater public awareness about youth suicide prevention services and resources;
● identify barriers to accessing mental health and substance abuse services, as well as opportunities to enhance this access; and
● promote evidenced-based and best practice programs, listed on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices Registry, for the prevention and treatment of youth suicide and self-injury.
The measure is also sponsored by Senator Sean Kean (R-Monmouth). It now heads to the Governor’s desk.