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Bipartisan Bilirakis Bill to Prevent Suicide and Bullying in Youth Passes

September 29, 2020
Press Release


Summer Blevins 727-232-2921


Bipartisan Bilirakis Bill to Prevent Suicide and Bullying in Youth Passes


WASHINGTON, D.C. –, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12)  and Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) are proud announce House passage of their bipartisan Suicide and Threat Assessment Nationally Dedicated to Universal Prevention (STAND-UP) Act.  This bill expands evidence-based suicide prevention training to students in grades 6 through 12. It would also provide training for threat identification, triage, and intervention, as well guidance and protocol for coordinating with local law enforcement using established school threat assessment models. These programs have proven effective in reducing suicide, bullying, aggression, campus violence, expulsion and suspension.

“There is no higher priority than keeping our children safe.  By providing high quality screening and prevention training to school staff and peers, we can identify threats before they materialize, and ensure that those who are at risk get the mental health treatment they need,” said Rep. Bilirakis.

 Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit founded by family members who lost loved ones during the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, has endorsed the bill. “The rates of youth suicide and violence occurring in our country’s schools are appalling. We know that with proper training and threat assessment teams embedded in schools that self-harm, violence, and suicide can be preventable. We are proud to partner with these bipartisan champions to pass this critical legislation to ensure that more youth and adults 'know the signs’ to properly intervene before a tragedy can occur and we urge Congress to pass this bill,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death of people ages 10-34. Tragically, Pinellas and Pasco counties are among the highest counties in Florida for suicide deaths per capita. The STAND-UP Act is a tangible step toward decreasing that tragic statistic.