Press Release
Senator Kevin O'Toole Senator Kevin O'Toole (R-40)
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Contact: Alex Young / (609) 847-3600
March 14, 2016
Senate Passes O’Toole’s “Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act”

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The New Jersey Senate unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen) that aims to prevent suicides on college campuses by providing students with greater access to mental health professionals.

A picture of Madison Holleran from her Instagram account. (Instagram)

“It’s great that we were able to come together as a senate to support our students, especially the ones that might be dealing with internal struggles,” O’Toole said. “We need to reach these young men and women and tell them they are not alone. This legislation will ensure our college students will always have someone to lean on in their darkest hours.”

The “Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act” (S-557) calls for health care professionals, with training in mental health and reducing suicides, to be available around the clock remotely or on college campuses to assist students in crisis. Students must receive information about these resources via email, no later than 15 days following the beginning of each semester.

The legislation is named after Madison Holleran, a Bergen County Native who committed suicide while attending the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. Suicide is the second-most common cause of death among college students, accounting for more deaths than all medical illnesses combined. In New Jersey, 72 percent of youth suicides were committed by college-age young adults, according to the most recent data available.

“Not only will these professionals be on call to help students in need, they will be able to work with faculty and staff so they can recognize the warning signs associated with student suicide,” O’Toole said. “I believe we can help save countless lives and make sure no one has to suffer alone.”

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