HB18-1177 (Michaelson Jenet/Fenberg & Coram) Youth Suicide Prevention
The bill requires the Office of Suicide Prevention in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to provide access to training programs related to youth suicide prevention for people who interact with youth on a regular basis, but have often not received training. At least three nonprofit statewide organizations must be selected to participate in the training and they must offer classes and programs that are free to the public. The bill also directs the Department to execute a statewide awareness campaign about suicide and youth suicide prevention, including more information regarding the suicide prevention hotline. Lastly, the bill expands access to psychotherapy services for youth who are 12 years of age and older.
The Colorado Children’s Campaign supports the bill. As of 2014, suicide was the second-leading cause of death for kids ages 15 to 19. Data show that 18 out of every 100,000 Colorado teens ages 15 to 19 committed suicide in 2016—one of the highest teen suicide rates on record since 1991. In 2015, nearly one in three Colorado high school students reported experiencing symptoms of clinical depression. More than one in six reported that they seriously considered attempting suicide. With treatment, many kids who experience mental health struggles can lead happy, healthy lives. This bill expands access to psychotherapy services for young people and increases access to evidence-based suicide prevention training programs. This bill takes meaningful steps forward to address youth suicide, a tragic issue that affects many Colorado kids and families.
Passed the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee on a bipartisan 7-4 vote and now heads to the House Appropriations Committee
March 9, 2018
The House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee heard testimony on the bill and laid it over for action at a later date