State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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 1        AN ACT in relation to public health.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  1.  Short  title.  This  Act may be cited as the
 5    Suicide Prevention and Treatment Act.

 6        Section 5. Definitions. For  the  purpose  of  this  Act,
 7    unless the context otherwise requires:
 8        The   term  "Council"  means  the  Comprehensive  Suicide
 9    Prevention Strategy Council.
10        The term  "Department"  means  the  Department  of  Human
11    Services.
12        The   term  "Secretary"  means  the  Secretary  of  Human
13    Services.

14        Section 10. Findings.  The  General  Assembly  makes  the
15    following findings:
16             (1)  The  Surgeon  General  of the United States has
17        described suicide prevention as a serious  public  health
18        priority,  and  has  called  upon each state to develop a
19        statewide comprehensive suicide prevention strategy using
20        a public health approach. Suicide now ranks eighth  among
21        causes of death.
22             (2)  In  1998,  1064 Illinoisans lost their lives to
23        suicide, an average of 3 Illinois residents per  day.  It
24        is  estimated  that  there  are between 20,000 and 35,000
25        suicide attempts in Illinois every year.  Three  and  1/2
26        percent  of  all  suicides  in  the  nation take place in
27        Illinois.
28             (3)  Among   older   adults   suicide   rates    are
29        increasing, making suicide the leading fatal injury among
30        the  elderly population in Illinois. As the proportion of
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 1        Illinois' population age  75  and  older  increases,  the
 2        number  of  suicides among persons in this age group will
 3        also increase, unless  an  effective  suicide  prevention
 4        strategy is implemented.
 5             (4)  Adolescents  are  far  more  likely  to attempt
 6        suicide than other age groups in Illinois. Data  indicate
 7        that  there are 100 attempts for every adolescent suicide
 8        completed. In 1998, 155 Illinois youths died by  suicide.
 9        Using  this  estimate, there were likely more than 15,500
10        suicide  attempts  made  by  Illinois   adolescents,   or
11        approximately  50%  of all the estimated suicide attempts
12        that occurred in Illinois.
13             (5)  Of all of the violent  deaths  associated  with
14        schools nationwide since 1992, 14% were suicides.
15             (6)  Homicide  and  suicide  rank  as the fourth and
16        fifth leading causes of death  for  youth,  respectively.
17        Both   are   preventable.   While  the  death  rates  for
18        unintentional injuries decreased by more than 35% between
19        1979 and 1996, the death rates for homicide  and  suicide
20        increased  for youth. Evidence is growing in terms of the
21        links between suicide and other forms of  violence.  This
22        provides  compelling  reasons  for broadening the State's
23        scope  in  identifying  risk  factors  for   self-harmful
24        behavior.  The number of estimated youth suicide attempts
25        and the growing concerns of youth violence  can  best  be
26        addressed   through   the  implementation  of  successful
27        gatekeeper training programs to identify and refer  youth
28        at risk for self-harmful behavior.
29             (7)  The  American  Association of Suicidology (AAS)
30        conservatively estimates that the lives  of  at  least  6
31        persons  related  to  or  connected  to  individuals  who
32        attempt  or  complete  suicide  are impacted. Using these
33        estimates,  in  1998  more   than   275,000   Illinoisans
34        struggled to cope with the impact of suicide.
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 1             (8)  Decreases in alcohol and drug abuse, as well as
 2        decreases in access to lethal means, significantly reduce
 3        the number of suicides.
 4             (9)  Actual   incidences  of  suicide  attempts  are
 5        expected to be higher than reported because attempts  not
 6        requiring  medical  attention  are  not  required  to  be
 7        reported.  The  underreporting  of  suicide completion is
 8        also  likely  because  suicide  classification   involves
 9        conclusions  regarding  the  intent  of the deceased. The
10        stigma  associated  with  suicide  is  also   likely   to
11        contribute to underreporting.
12             (10)  Without  interagency collaboration and support
13        for proven, community-based, culturally competent suicide
14        prevention and intervention programs,  the  incidence  of
15        occurrences of suicide is likely to rise.
16             (11)  Emerging  data  on  rates  of suicide based on
17        gender, ethnicity, age, and geographic areas demand a new
18        strategy  that  responds  to  the  needs  of  a   diverse
19        population.
20             (12)  According   to   Children's   Safety   Network
21        Economics  Insurance,  the  cost of youth suicide acts by
22        persons in Illinois who are under 21 years of age  totals
23        $539,000,000  including  medical  costs,  future earnings
24        lost, and a measure of quality of life.
25             (13)  Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death in
26        Illinois for persons between the ages of 15 and 24.
27             (14)  In  1998  there  were   1,116   homicides   in
28        Illinois,  which outnumbered suicides by only 52. Yet, so
29        far, only homicide has received  funding,  programs,  and
30        media support.
31             (15)  According  to  the  1999  national  report  on
32        statistics  for  suicide  of  the American Association of
33        Suicidology, categories of  unintentional  injury,  motor
34        vehicle   deaths,  and  all  other  deaths  include  many
                            -4-                LRB9212764LDtm
 1        reported  and  unsubstantiated  suicides  that  are   not
 2        identified   correctly   because  of  poor  investigatory
 3        techniques, unsophisticated inquest jurors,  and  stigmas
 4        that cause families to cover up evidence.
 5             (16)  Programs  for HIV infectious diseases are very
 6        well-funded even though, in Illinois, HIV deaths  numbers
 7        fewer than 50% of suicide deaths.

 8        Section  15.  Comprehensive  Suicide  Prevention Strategy
 9    Council.
10        (a)  There is hereby created  the  Comprehensive  Suicide
11    Prevention  Strategy  Council.  The Council shall develop and
12    submit to the Governor and the General Assembly,  by  May  1,
13    2003,  a  statewide comprehensive suicide prevention strategy
14    that shall include specific  measurable  goals  and  proposed
15    timelines for reaching those goals.
16        (b)  The  Council  shall  consider,  as  a  model for the
17    Illinois  strategy,  the  United  States  Surgeon   General's
18    National  Suicide  Prevention  Strategy.  The  Council  shall
19    review  the  statutorily  prescribed  missions of major State
20    mental  health,  health,  aging,  and  school  mental  health
21    programs  and  recommend,  as  necessary   and   appropriate,
22    statutory  changes  to  include  suicide  prevention  in  the
23    missions  of  those  programs.  The  Council  shall prepare a
24    report of that review,  including  its  recommendations,  and
25    shall  submit  the  report  to  the  Governor and the General
26    Assembly by May 1, 2003.
27        (c)  The members of the Council shall be appointed by the
28    Secretary. The membership of the Council shall include all of
29    the following:
30             (1)  One representative of a statewide  organization
31        that   advocates   for  the  prevention  of  suicide  and
32        improvement  of  mental  health  treatment  or   provides
33        suicide prevention or survivor support services.
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 1             (2)  The Secretary, or his or her designee.
 2             (3)  The  State  Superintendent of Education, or his
 3        or her designee.
 4             (4)  The Director of Aging, or his or her designee.
 5             (5)  The Director of  Corrections,  or  his  or  her
 6        designee.
 7             (6)  One  representative  of  a county mental health
 8        department.
 9             (7)  One   representative   of   a   county   health
10        department.
11             (8)  One representative of local law enforcement.
12        (d)  The council  shall  initially  meet  no  later  than
13    January  10,  2003.  The  council  shall cease to exist as of
14    January 1, 2004, unless subsequent legislation is enacted  to
15    extend that date.

16        Section  20.  Youth  and  older  adult suicide prevention
17    pilot programs.
18        (a)  The Department shall establish, no later  than  June
19    30,   2003,  5  pilot  programs  that  provide  training  and
20    establish programs relating to youth and older adult  suicide
21    prevention  to  demonstrate  the  effectiveness  of youth and
22    older adult suicide prevention programs. The  pilot  programs
23    shall  be  operational  for  2 years. At least 2 of the pilot
24    programs shall be targeted toward  youth  suicide  prevention
25    and at least 2 shall be targeted toward suicide prevention in
26    older  adults. At least one of the youth pilot programs shall
27    be  established  according  to  the   model   youth   suicide
28    prevention  program  jointly  developed  by the United States
29    Department  of  Health  and  Human  Services,  Public  Health
30    Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and  the
31    National  Center  for  Injury  Prevention  and  Control.  The
32    Secretary  is  encouraged  to  ensure that the pilot programs
33    include at least one of the following prevention strategies:
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 1                  (1)  School gatekeeper training.
 2                  (2)  Community gatekeeper training.
 3                  (3)  General   community   suicide   prevention
 4             education.
 5                  (4)   Screening programs.
 6                  (5)  Peer support programs.
 7                  (6)  Twenty-four  hour   crisis   centers   and
 8             hotlines.
 9                  (7)  Means restrictions.
10                  (8)  Interventions after a suicide.
11        (b)  The  funds appropriated for purposes of this Section
12    shall be allocated by the Department on a  competitive  basis
13    that  shall  include consideration of different rates of risk
14    of suicide based on age,  ethnicity,  gender,  prevalence  of
15    mental health disorders, and different rates of suicide based
16    on geographic areas in Illinois.
17        (c)  The  Department  shall  prepare  a  report as to the
18    effectiveness of the pilot programs established  pursuant  to
19    this  Section. The Department shall submit that report to the
20    Governor and General Assembly no later than June 30, 2005.

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