With hundreds of lives lost to suicide each year in New Jersey, Assemblywoman Annette Quijano sponsors a bill to establish a Suicide Prevention Advisory Council for the state that would examine existing needs and services and make recommendations regarding suicide prevention. The legislation was advanced by the Assembly Health Committee Monday.
A 25-member council would be established under the bill (A-3080), comprised of various state commissioners, mental health experts and other officials. Both the public and ex officio members would have varying backgrounds dealing with suicide prevention, youth and elderly services, alcohol and drug counseling, social work and more.
The group would serve as the state’s sole advisory council, analyzing what needs those at risk of suicide have and what services currently exist to fulfill those needs. It would also offer recommendations to any suicide prevention entities operating under statutory authority.
Upon the legislation advancing, Assemblywoman Quijano (D-Union) issued the following statement:
“Having one advisory council on an issue as important as suicide prevention will help ensure efficient communication and coordination between members, which will allow the group to offer timely and effective advice to other entities throughout the state.
“With more than 600 residents dying by suicide each year, this is a serious matter that must be addressed. Every life is precious. We have to do everything in our power to help provide resources and assistance to anyone struggling with suicidal ideation to ensure they are not alone in their fight. This council is one way we can make that happen.”