Rep. Delloso applauds unanimous House passage of his legislation to prevent teen suicide

RIDLEY PARK, March 26 – State Rep. David M. Delloso, D-Delaware, announced today that the House voted unanimously on Monday to pass his legislation to require schools to make a suicide prevention hotline readily available to youth via their student identification cards.

House Bill 1553 would apply to identification cards for students in grades 6 through 12 and stipulates that the suicide prevention hotline number selected by the school must be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It would also require schools to display the number in various high-visibility areas in the school, including the school's publicly accessible website, in counselor's offices, and in the principal's office. The bill is now with the Senate for consideration and would take effect 60 days after the governor’s signature.

“It’s devastating to know there are children in our communities who are considering suicide as their only choice for relief,” Rep. Delloso said. “As a dad myself, I want to do everything in my power as a state legislator to help prevent families from suffering this kind of tragedy. With this measure, we can help make sure that the last decision a kid makes is not the worst decision that kid makes. I look forward to a positive outcome in the Senate.”

Rep. Delloso pointed to alarming facts about the suicide epidemic among teens and adolescents. A 2023 study in Annals of Pediatrics & Child Health found that between 2008 and 2018, the suicide rate among 13- and 14-year-olds nationwide more than doubled and is now the leading cause of death for that age group. A 2023 clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that in 2020, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for 5- to 9-year-olds, the second leading cause of death for 10- to 14-year-olds, and the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds.

The clinicians who authored each of the reports cited above stated in their conclusions that increased public health efforts – such as promoting awareness about help available from the suicide prevention hotline – are a necessary component of combatting the suicide epidemic among youth.

View Rep. Delloso's remarks about the bill on the House floor