In A Flash

Lessons on suicide prevention could be in store for Louisiana students

By: - April 6, 2022 5:44 pm

Increased spending improves college attendance rates, graduation rates and test scores. But, as a 2018 report revealed, school districts enrolling “the most students of color receive about $1,800, or 13%, less per student” than districts serving the fewest students of color, according to the authors. (Getty Images)

Louisiana schools may soon be required to provide students lessons on suicide prevention to students in order to address high rates of depression and youths taking their own lifes in the state.

House Bill 495, authored by. Rep. Laurie Schlegel, R-Metairie, would require Louisiana public schoolsl teach sixth- through 12th-graders about suicide prevention, student safety, violence prevention and social inclusion. The bill would also give schools the chance to create student-led clubs based around suicide prevention.

“It’s much needed that we talk to our students about (suicide prevention),” Schlegel said to the committee. “I know they’re very serious issues, but our kids are thinking about it, and some are actually doing it.”

The bill advanced from the House Education Committee unanimously Wednesday.

In Louisiana, 37% of high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless, while 18% have seriously considered attempting suicide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The bill moves to the full House for approval.

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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is an award-winning journalist at The Louisiana Illuminator. Canicosa has previous experience at Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.