Suicide is the leading cause of death in Colorado for young people between the ages of 10 & 24
(Mar. 1) — A bill sponsored by Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet to help address youth suicide was approved by the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee.
“We are not going to stop youth suicide with one bill or idea – it’s going to take many bills to stop youth suicide here in Colorado. We need to create a foundation to build upon and this bill does that,” said Rep. Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City. “An epidemic is unfolding before our eyes and studies tell us that suicide continues to increase, but we are failing to adequately invest in solutions. This bill will get our young people the professional help they need and save lives.”
Rep. Michaelson Jenet’s son survived a suicide attempt at age 9.
The potentially life-saving bill will reduce the age at which a young person can seek confidential psychotherapy services from a licensed mental health professional without the consent of his or her parent or guardian, from 15 to 12. The bill also requires the department of education, in consultation with the Office of Suicide Prevention, the Youth Advisory Council, and the Suicide Prevention Commission, to create and maintain a mental health education literacy resource bank. The resource bank is available to the public free of charge.
HB19-1120 passed on a vote of 7-4 and now goes to the Appropriations Committee. Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, is a co-prime sponsor of the bill.
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