Tom Cullerton advances suicide prevention initiative

tc-suicideprevSPRINGFIELD- For people between the ages of 15 and 34 in Illinois, suicide is the third leading cause of death. And for every reported suicide among young people, there are at least 100 attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.

These are just a few of the statistics that help illustrate the need to equip educators in Illinois with the thoughtful training and educational materials to help detect early warning signs of suicide.   

To address this need, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) sponsored Senate Bill 1793, which works toward promoting youth suicide awareness and prevention programs.

“Our children shouldn’t ever feel like they don’t have any other avenue than to take such drastic steps. This legislation will help us catch early warning signs and arm teachers with the tools they need to help students,” said Cullerton.   

This initiative ensures school districts require educators in school buildings serving students in grades 6 through 12 to participate in four hours of training in youth suicide awareness and prevention every five years.

“The statistics are alarming. Suicide is preventable and we need to ensure our children have the necessary protections in place as well as reassurance that there is someone to turn to,” said Cullerton.  

SB1793 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

Sen. Tom Cullerton


23rd Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Insurance; Labor; State Government; Transportation; Veterans Affairs (Chairperson); Sub. on Utility Rate Regulations (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Born Sept. 20, 1969; studied at the University of Kansas; former village president and trustee of Villa Park; married (wife Stacey), three sons.

Associated Representatives:
Deb Conroy
Diane Pappas