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Category : In the News

Suicide Hotline Tags Now Required in Schools

Friday , May 21 , 2021

Beginning July 1, all Arizona high schools and colleges will be required to have a suicide prevention phone number printed on the back of their student IDs.

“Putting access to crisis services in the hands of Arizona’s teens and families is critical to preventing teen suicide and helping teens cope with the challenges they face,” said Nikki Kontz, Teen Lifeline clinical director.

Troy Bales, a former Pinnacle High School principal and incoming superintendent of Paradise Valley Unified School District, had the idea to add the Teen Lifeline phone number to the back of student IDs and together they began the first student ID initiative.

The law passed was modeled after this initiative.

Since Pinnacle High School printed the Teen Lifeline phone number on the back of their student IDs, the initiative has now reached over 260 Arizona middle schools and high schools, with a combined enrollment of more than 300,000 students.

More than 1,000 more high schools and nearly 60 colleges and universities in Arizona will now be required to add a suicide prevention phone number to their student identification badges.

“This simple change removes the stigma of asking for help from peers, teachers, guidance counselors or an anonymous call to Teen Lifeline,” Bales said.

Excerpts taken from the Ahwatukee Foothills News website. Read the full Ahwatukee Foothills News article.