Local lawmakers introduce new teen suicide prevention legislation

Inspired by 2014 death of Olathe teen Cady Housh

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why” has sparked a nationwide discussion about suicide.

In the Midwest, it’s bringing congressmen from opposite parties together to pen a bill on suicide awareness.

This comes after 41 Action News reported about a lack of response from lawmakers when more teenagers died by suicide, including Olathe teen Cady Housh.

After hearing Housh’s story, Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver (D - Kansas City, Missouri) and Kevin Yoder (R - Overland Park, Kansas) have introduced a new bill that would require schools to train teachers to spot suicide warning signs.

It’s based on the Jason Flatt Act that’s already in effect in 19 states, including Kansas.

That bill failed again in Missouri this year, but the congressmen said they feel their new bill has enough support to pass.

“If we don’t, we’re only going to see an acceleration of suicides, and so now is the time to deal with it,” Cleaver said.

With suicide being the second leading cause of death for young people, parents across the nation are hoping a national law will pass sooner rather than later, and so does Yoder.

“We just want to make sure this is in all 50 states,” he said.

The congressmen have named the bill “The Cady Housh and Jason Flatt Teen Suicide Prevention Act.”

Resources: 

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call them at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

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