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South Carolina law to require suicide prevention info on student IDs

New legislation in the state of South Carolina will require public and private colleges and universities to print the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and additional crisis resources on school-issued student IDs. The act will also apply to ID cards issued by public schools in the state serving grades 7 through 12.

According to local ABC affiliate WPDE, the Student Identification Card Suicide Prevention Act, S. 231 is intended to provide students with convenient access to the relevant support resources in times of crisis. The law will officially take effect in July of 2022.

“We don’t come into this world knowing who to call if we’re having difficulties,” said Jennifer Butler, the Program Director for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health Office of Suicide Prevention. “This gives them the immediate resource at all times no matter what level of distress they’re in, to know that their lives matter.”

Universities that issue student ID cards must print on either side of the cards the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Universities must also print on either side of the campus cards the social media platform, telephone number, or text number for at least one additional crisis resource selected by the university. This information could include:

  • The Crisis Text Line
  • Campus police or security or, the local law enforcement authority
  • A local suicide prevention hotline
  • The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline.

The Student Identification Card Suicide Prevention Act, S. 231 applies to any student ID card issued for the first time as well as for all card replacements.

Institutions will also be required to certify to the proper governing bodies prior to the start of each school year that the contact information being printed on student IDs is up to date and reflects the current contact info for crisis resources posted on the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s website.

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