Sen. Tom Cullerton

SPRINGFIELD – To battle increasing suicide rates, State Senator Tom Cullerton advanced a measure to ensure suicide prevention information is readily available to college students.

Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced Senate Bill 2495, which requires state public universities and community colleges to publish numbers for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the Crisis Text Line on the back of each student identification card.

“Improving access to mental health resources is a simple step state universities and community colleges can take to save lives,” Cullerton said. “Students are constantly required to use their student ID card to access sporting events, dorm rooms or utilize their meal plan. Ensuring these lifesaving helplines are easily accessible can be the difference between life and death.”

Senate Bill 2495 requires higher education facilities to publish the helpline’s information on their website if they do not issue student identification cards.

The CDC reported that in 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for 10 to 24-year-olds in the United States. In the past decade, the overall increase in suicides for 10 to 24-year-olds was 56%.

Senate Bill 2495 passed the Senate’s Committee on Higher Education with bipartisan support on Tuesday.