School is back in session, which means that college students everywhere are swiping their ID cards to buy lunch, hit the gym, and even unlock their dorm room. We think it should be as easy to get support in crisis as it is to whip out an ID card. And we aren’t the only ones.
There’s a bi-partisan bill in both the House and the Senate that would require colleges and universities to include numbers for Crisis Text Line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on the back of every student ID. That means 20 million people in the country would carry around a reminder that we’re always there to help when they need it most! And we do mean bi-partisan! Both Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and Republican Senator John Cornyn are among the co-sponsors of the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act (H.R. 3912 / S. 1782).
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. On average, one in four texters mention school when they reach out to Crisis Text Line. Texters who bring up school in conversations also talk about depression/sadness, relationships, anxiety/stress, suicide and isolation/loneliness.
Let’s get this law on the books so that 20 million students know that they aren’t alone. Free, life-saving support is at their fingertips 24/7. We’ve partnered with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to make it easy for you to send a letter to your representatives to bring this legislation to a vote. All you have to do is follow this link to the AFSP Action Center to find your reps and personalize a letter explaining why this bill, and Crisis Text Line, matter to you. You can even let your them know that you’re a Crisis Counselor at Crisis Text Line.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because California already passed its own version of this bill. Yay! And earlier this year, we teamed up with our friends at Active Minds to encourage schools to prioritize their students’ mental wellness by putting the information on the back of their ID cards and at the students’ fingertips.
This new legislation would speed up this effort in a big way! It’s a big win for us, for you, and for every student in the country. Introducing this legislation means that our leaders are listening and acting to prioritize mental wellness. We know Crisis Text Line saves lives every single day. So do you. Now, let’s tell our elected officials.