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Benson on Bill to Require Suicide Prevention Training for Mental Health Practitioners

New Jersey would become the tenth state to require suicide prevention training for mental health practitioners like social workers, marriage and family therapists, and alcohol and drug counselors under legislation approved Monday by the full Assembly, 79-0.

The measure (A-1443), sponsored by Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex) would require the training as a condition of licensure and as an ongoing requirement for mental health professionals.

Assemblyman Benson released the following statement:

 “Suicide continues to be the second most common cause of death among teenagers and the fourth leading cause of death among adults. Given these heartbreaking statistics, it is crucial that we start treating suicide like the public health crisis it is.

“With suicide prevention training, mental health practitioners who are on the front lines of this crisis will be better equipped to provide up-to-date treatment to at-risk individuals and provide patients with the emergency care they need. If just one life is saved as a result of expanded training, these efforts will have been worth it.”