State Assembly bill could require Suicide Prevention Lifeline on student IDs

Published: Oct. 24, 2019 at 6:13 PM CDT
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One of those bills is Assembly Bill 531 which would require student ID cards to include the contact information for the suicide prevention hotline.

The idea came following the death of a 16-year-old from Wausau named Jay, who died by suicide in July of this year.

Jay’s two friends, Elli Patrick and Morgan Rose, from school testified before the committee on Thursday advocating for the bill.

“He was just the best person ever, he just made friends right away,” said junior Elli Patrick. “He was everyone’s favorite person.”

"It’s so hard to see somebody who is so young and full of life and funny and happy to take an unexpected turn," said Rose. "I don’t want to lose any more of my friends to suicide if there’s anything we can do to prevent it."

Robin Patrick, Elli’s mother, has helped coordinate efforts in Wausau to get the Suicide Prevention Hotline printed on the ID cards for this current school year.

“In some way it empowers you to heal from something traumatic and turn something good from something so horrible,” said Robin Patrick. “I’m just a mom who cares about kids and I don’t want to see this happen again.”

The bill, authored by State Representative Rob Stafsholt, says it’s also cost-effective as many schools already print student IDs each year.

Assembly Bill 531 is in the preliminary stages and still needs to go before the Senate committee and be part of an executive session for both the Assembly and the Senate.

“Every single life out there matters and people need to know that there are people out there who care about them,” said Patrick.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

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