Houghtaling & Downey Bill Raising Awareness of Youth Suicide Prevention Clears Committee

TRENTON - A joint resolution sponsored by Assemblymembers Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Joann Downey (D-Freehold) that would permanently designate September as "Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness Month" in New Jersey was released from the Assembly Women and Children Committee this past week. The bill aims to increase public awareness of the risk factors and warning signs for youth suicide, increase community involvement in creating strategies to prevent teens and young adults from taking their own lives, and to encourage the development of Statewide comprehensive anti-suicide initiatives.

“It is our hope that this resolution will encourage nonprofits, school districts, and boards across New Jersey to develop and improve anti-suicide initiatives,” Downey said.

“I encourage any person struggling with thoughts of suicide to immediately seek professional help. There’s no shame in seeking help from others when facing mental health challenges, and resources like the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-273-8255, are gladly available to help you through this difficult time.”

“It’s incredibly important to increase public awareness of the risk factors and warning signs for youth suicide,” said Houghtaling. “There are few greater tragedies than a young person who decides to take their own life. Combatting this issue will take full engagement of our communities and a true sense of empathy for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues.”

Under the joint resolution, the Governor is requested to issue an annual proclamation recognizing September as "Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness Month" in New Jersey and calling upon public officials, the citizens of the State, and other interested groups to observe the month with appropriate activities and programs.

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