New Jersey Revised Statutes § 30:9a-22 - Findings, Declarations Relative To Youth Suicide.

30:9A-22 Findings, declarations relative to youth suicide.

1.The Legislature finds and declares that:

a.Overall, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death for all Americans and the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24.

b.During the period from1952 to 1995, the incidence of suicide among adolescents and young adults nearly tripled. During the period from 1980 to 1997, the rate of suicide among persons ages 15 to 19 increased by 11% and among persons ages 10 to 14 by 109%. Although suicide among young children is a rare event, the dramatic increase in the rate among persons ages 10 to 14 underscores the urgent need for intensifying efforts to prevent suicide among persons in this age group. It is also widely reported that the risk for attempted or completed suicide varies with race, religion, age and sexual identity.

c.In 1996, 72 persons under the age of 25 committed suicide in New Jersey, and every month at least 127 young people in this State attempt suicide. Over 40% of the suicide attempts of minors are second or subsequent attempts. Non-fatal suicide attempts outnumber suicide death and often result in significant medical and economic costs, and in physical, emotional and psychological damage. Like suicide deaths, however, suicide attempts are generally under-reported.

d.It is estimated that fewer than 25% of suicide attempts are reported. When they are reported, the reaction often makes the person less likely to seek further help. Suicide evokes complicated and uncomfortable reactions that stigmatize the survivors and increase their burden of hurt, isolation and secrecy. This secrecy also tends to diminish the accuracy and amount of information available about persons who have attempted or completed suicides, which information could help suicide prevention efforts.

e.Therefore, it is necessary to establish a program in this State to: collect information about youths who attempt suicide and improve the information available to both professionals, who are in contact with youth at risk of suicide, and families at risk; identify and provide suitable intervention services to reduce the incidence of suicide; and educate youths and families at risk about the resources available for suicide prevention and intervention.


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Last modified: October 11, 2016