AUSTIN (Texas) — UT Austin student identification cards could soon have the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on them.
UT Austin Nursing student, Holly Ainsworth, represents nursing students on the student government assembly. She says she brought forward student legislation to get the conversation started with UT administrators.
UT Student Government Speaker of Assembly Jakob Lucas confirmed that this legislation passed unanimously.
Now, Ainsworth said she has been working with UT Austin’s ID center to make this a reality. KXAN has reached out to UT to learn more about when this could be a reality on ID cards, we are waiting to hear back.
Ainsworth feels very optimistic about this happening soon, she says she has been working with the ID Center on this idea and says they were “very receptive.”
One of Ainsworth’s classes does work with the Austin State Hospital and says one of the survey questions she asks patients is whether they’ve had a major life change in the past few months.
“And we have a lot of students, about 10,000, every few months moving to campus from all different parts of the world and all different parts of Texas and I really wanted them to be able to find a home in UT,” she said.
She added that she got this idea from following KXAN’s Save Our Students initiative about mental health and school safety.
“It actually ended up, I was looking on the Facebook page for Save Our Students and there was a movement over in California to bring the National Suicide Prevention lifeline to the back of student ID’s and so I thought, ‘why don’t we have that here?'” Ainsworth said.
“Because I know we’ve lost students in the past [to suicide] and I think we should really try to put all of our resources into preventing it,” she added.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
People who are facing a suicidal crisis or emotional distress can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. More than 100 local crisis centers are a part of a national network working on this lifeline and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.