A new bill in West Virginia could mandate public middle schools and high schools in the state to print the phone and text lines for suicide prevention resources on all student ID cards. The bill passed earlier this month by the House of Delegates and would take effect starting next year should it be officially passed into law.
There is no indication as of yet that the bill would mandate higher education institutions in the state of West Virginia to print the suicide hotlines on its campus cards.
According to an AP News report, schools that offer student IDs for grades six through 12 would have to print the number for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline — 988 for calling and texting — on either side of each campus card. Under the bill, schools would also have to print the contact information for the Crisis Text line: text HOME to 741741.
The hotline operates a network of over 200 crisis centers staffed with counselors who are trained to listen to callers, offer support and connect them with resources.
Public schools would have until the start of next year to make preparations and implement the policy, if signed into law.
West Virginia’s bill now advances to the Senate. West Virginia would join a number of states that have already enacted similar laws mandating the printing of suicide prevention contacts on campus cards, including California, Wisconsin, Colorado, Oklahoma, and more.