Texas Senate Bill 1624 took effect September 1,2015, requiring all incoming students at Texas academic institutions to receive information regarding mental health and suicide prevention services. The passage of SB 1624 can be attributed to the parents of Lee Walker, a student who died by suicide at UT in 2014.
ACC is committed to fostering a safe environment and help our students establish a comfortable environment to talk about this difficult subject such as suicide.
With a prevention approach in mind the College is serving students by taking on an approach to advertising the mental health and suicide prevention services on campus. The best way for the college to fulfill this requirement is to encourage students to follow the initial online orientation invitation to completing a Student Empower Course(url) mediated by suicide prevention experts. The goal would be to teach students how to recognize signs of depression or suicidal ideation in themselves or others as well as to highlight the Colleges resources available to all current registered students.
This un-invasive (?) approach to suicide awareness is important because it would establish a comfortable environment for students to learn about this difficult subject. It would also allow students to identify signs of suicide and thus ensuring the message is received. This approach will hopefully introduce the awareness to students before they are engulfed in the nerve-wracking semesters of their college careers.
With this new program and Student Empower Course(url), incoming students who complete the presentation will be able to identify the symptoms and signs of depression/suicide and point their peers toward helpful resources. The bystander effect, or the tendency for individuals to disregard a crisis when others are present, will be addressed during the presentation. It is our responsibility as a community to help these students.
The College has established an infrastructure, including accessible counseling to aid students with mental health needs counseling website url. With this infrastructure in place those suffering silently can be assured that they are not alone and we will continue to promote our support and assistance to whom need us most.
SB 1624 will not solve the complex problems of mental health and suicide prevention on college campuses, but as a community we believe we can support those students who may be thinking about suicide, the second leading cause of death for college students.
If you or someone you know is considering harm to self (suicide) or to others please call 911 immediately.
Austin / Travis County 24 hour Crisis & Suicide hotline: 512-472-HELP (4357)
The Williamson County 24 hour Crisis hotline: 1-800-841-1255
Bastrop County Family Crisis Center hotline: 1-888-311-7755
Hays County 24 Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-877-466-0660
National Suicide Prevention Hotline:1-800-273-TALK (8255)