ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION
Assemblywoman JOANN DOWNEY
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblyman ERIC HOUGHTALING
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblywoman ANNETTE QUIJANO
District 20 (Union)
Assemblywoman GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA
District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblyman DANIEL R. BENSON
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Assemblyman TIM EUSTACE
District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblywoman MILA M. JASEY
District 27 (Essex and Morris)
Assemblywoman ANGELA V. MCKNIGHT
District 31 (Hudson)
Assemblymen Wimberly, Moriarty, Chiaravalloti, Assemblywomen Lopez, Murphy, Swain, Assemblymen Tully, Freiman, Armato and Mazzeo
Designates September of each year as “Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness Month” in New Jersey.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Assembly Women and Children Committee on February 1, 2018, with amendments.
A Joint Resolution permanently designating September as “Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness Month” in New Jersey.
Whereas, Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24 in the State of New Jersey, and the second leading cause of death for youth in that age group in the United States; and
Whereas, Youth suicide statistics from the American Association of Suicidology show that in the United States, one young person under the age of 24 dies of suicide every one hour and 43 minutes, and for every suicide death, it is estimated that approximately 200 teens and young adults make suicide attempts; and
Whereas, According to the Youth Suicide Report released by the Department of Children and Families in 2015, between 2012 and 2014, 4,796 young people ages 10 to 24 made suicide attempts that resulted in hospitalization, and 265 of these attempts were fatal; and
Whereas, Of the 256 completed suicides, 197 of these deaths involved youth ages 19 to 24, with young men completing suicide at a rate approximately 3.6 times higher than young women. The number of deaths by suicide among male youth ages 10 to 18, at 52, was also higher than female youth in the same age category, at 16; and
Whereas, Among New Jersey youth ages 10 to 24, non-Hispanic White and Black youth complete suicide at nearly the same rate, with the rate for Non-Hispanic White youth just slightly higher. Hispanic youth complete suicide at a rate 25 percent lower than the overall Statewide rate; and
1[Whereas, Hanging, strangulation, and suffocation were the most common means of suicide among New Jersey youth from 2012 to 2014; and
Whereas, Compared to national statistics, New Jersey has a relatively high number of suicides by train. While New Jersey has three percent of the nation’s population, approximately 13 percent of the nation’s suicides by train occur in New Jersey; and]1
Whereas, There are many risk factors for youth suicide, including trauma, abuse, prior suicide attempt, and a history of family members committing or attempting to commit suicide; and
Whereas, Data from the Youth Suicide Report also show that among New Jersey youth who completed suicide, mental health, relationships, and substance abuse were prevalent challenges; and
Whereas, Although New Jersey has a lower suicide rate in comparison to the rest of the United States, suicide affects youth in the entire State, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or economic background; and
Whereas, Youth suicide’s impact reverberates through families, friends, and communities, and many suicide attempts that do not result in death do end in serious injury to the victims and lifelong trauma to their family and those who know them; and
Whereas, A young person considering suicide may exhibit behavioral warning signs prior to a suicide attempt; and
Whereas, Suicide warning signs include: previous suicide attempts; current talk of suicide or making a plan to attempt suicide; a strong wish to die or a preoccupation with death; giving away prized possessions; moodiness; increased alcohol or other drug use; hinting at not being around in the future; or saying good-bye to family and friends; and
Whereas, Early identification of these warning signs as well as recognition by family, friends, and members of the community of depressive behavior and other mental or behavioral health issues may help reduce the number of teens and young adults who commit or attempt to commit suicide; and
Whereas, Increased public awareness of the risk factors and warning signs for youth suicide and community involvement in creating strategies to prevent teens and young adults from taking their own lives are key factors in youth suicide prevention and in the development of Statewide comprehensive anti-suicide initiatives; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. September of each year is designated as "Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness Month" in New Jersey in order to increase public awareness of the risk factors and warning signs for youth suicide, increase community involvement in creating strategies to prevent teens and young adults from taking their own lives, and to encourage the development of Statewide comprehensive anti-suicide initiatives.
2. The Governor is respectfully requested to annually issue a proclamation recognizing September as "Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness Month" in New Jersey and calling upon public officials, the citizens of the State, and other interested groups to observe the month with appropriate activities and programs.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.