Coleman, Garnet F.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/26/2011
Coleman Passes Legislation to Prevent Youth Suicide
Austin-- The Texas House today gave its final approval to legislation that will help prevent youth suicide. HB 1386 by Representatives Coleman, Farrar and Marquez and sponsored by Senator Ellis, will allow school districts to implement a suicide prevention program to recognize early warning signs in children and notify parents to intervene if necessary.
"I'm extremely proud of this bill," said Representative Coleman. "This is one of my most important legislative priorities."
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children age 10-14 and the third for adolescents age 15-24. This legislation will give vital information to parents, allowing the opportunity for parents to intervene before a child is permanently emotionally affected and/or becomes suicidal.
"We've heard too many tragic stories of children and teenagers who have taken their own lives due to emotional distress," said Rep Coleman. "This loss of life can be prevented. It's important that we let parents know of any early warning signs in their child's behavior so that they can prevent a bad outcome. It is the parents who can best care for their children."
Senator Ellis added, "Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people and it is 100 percent preventable. This bill is a small step in the right direction to aid school districts in identifying and aiding those students who are at risk of suicide."
Concluded Rep. Coleman, "This is a step in the right direction and something we can build on in the future. I want to thank my colleagues in the Legislature for their work on this bill, which made its passage possible."
Representative Coleman is available for comment.