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 cleared the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.
“By examining data and best practices, we can identify areas that are in need of improvement in terms of how we can better reach out to children and young adults who are at risk,” said Beach. “Suicide prevention has to be something we give our full attention to moving forward, because the result of inattention is simply too tragic.”
This bill, 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 legislation now heads to the full Senate for a vote.