Michigan considers adding suicide hotline to student IDs

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are considering requiring school districts across the state to include a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline number on student identification cards for grades 6-12.

Republican state Rep. Andrea Schroeder introduced the measure last month, The Detroit News reported. The bill has bipartisan support and has been assigned to a committee.

It would require schools that issue student IDs to include a local, state, or national hotline on them. But the bill would not require schools to distribute ID cards, Schroeder said.

“Kids are in crisis in a lot of different ways,” Schroeder said. “I said, `There should be a law. What can we do to help schools with this youth mental-health crisis?’”

Schroeder said she was spurred to action after learning about two students who died by suicide in Oakland County last year.

One was Nikolai Miller, whose mother, Kris Miller, said she asked Schroeder for help researching suicide laws. Miller learned that another state had placed stickers with suicide prevention information on student IDs. Now she and her husband, Joe, are advocating for something similar in Michigan.

“This is not getting any better,” Kris Miller said. “People can’t ignore mental health and they can’t ignore suicide anymore.”

In Michigan, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 24. The state reported 1,867 suicides in that age group between 1997-2017.

California adopted a law last year requiring schools to print the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on student ID cards for grades 7-12. Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a similar idea.