The New Jersey Legislature is considering the development of a statewide plan to prevent youth suicide.
The legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini would require data about youth suicide attempts and deaths to be coordinated. It would also mandate increased promotion of prevention programs.
“New Jersey has one of the lower rates as far as if you look across the country for youth suicide, but that being said one child taking their life is too many,” said Angelini. “We have seen an increase in the suicides connected with bullying, particularly cyberbullying.”
The state funds three suicide-prevention hotlines, but Angelini said calls to two of them are answered outside New Jersey. She wants those calls to go to social workers within the state who know about the resources available in local communities.
The legislation has been approved by the Assembly Human Services committee. It has not yet been introduced in the Senate.