Sending Office: Honorable Emanuel Cleaver
Cosponsor H.R. 3778 – The Cady Housh and Gemesha Thomas Suicide Prevention Act of 2019
Current Cosponsors: Reps Billy Long, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Elijah Cummings, Frederica Wilson, Alcee Hastings, Bennie Thompson, Eddie Johnson, Barbara Lee, Lucy McBath, Brian Fitzpatrick, Robin Kelly, Susan Wild, Steven Horsford, G.K. Butterfield,
Yvette Clarke, Max Rose, Gregory Meeks, David Scott, Mark DeSaulnier, Cedric Richmond, Gilbert Cisneros, Steve Cohen, Sharice Davids, Jim McGovern, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Kathleen Rice, Amata Radewagen, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Raul Ruiz, Pete Visclosky, Andre
Carson, Ro Khanna, Lou Correa, Grace Meng, Jose Serrano, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Joyce Beatty, Debbie Dingell, Jason Crow, Steve Stivers, Eliot Engel, Deb Haaland, Jamie Raskin, Pramila Jayapal
Supporting groups: National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Association of School Psychologists, Jason Foundation, National Black Justice
Coalition, Missouri Association of School Administrators, National Association of Secondary School Principals (NAASP)
Please join us by cosponsoring ‘The Cady Housh and Gemesha Thomas Suicide Prevention Act of 2019’, which recognizes the severity of youth suicide and authorizes the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) grants to be used for training school personnel in elementary and
secondary schools and also students in secondary schools in youth suicide awareness and prevention tools.
Cady and Gemesha, the two students memorialized in the name of this bill, were well-liked, contributing members of their communities in the Kansas City region, and both would become victims of suicide at 16 and 17, respectively. Sadly, their stories are not
unique. Suicide has been the second leading cause of death for American youth between ages 10 and 24. Each day there is an average of 3,041 suicide attempts by students in 9th-12th grade and about 16% of high school students have seriously contemplated suicide.
Our youth are struggling with this public health crisis in every elementary, secondary and postsecondary institution.
These tragedies don’t exist in a vacuum. According to the Jason Foundation, 4 out of 5 teens who attempt suicide give clear warning signs. Currently, the GLS grants provide support to states and tribes to implement youth suicide prevention and early intervention
strategies in schools, juvenile detention justice systems, mental health programs, and substance use programs. This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to:
a. Authorize GLS funding to states to be used for emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention training for all school personnel including auxiliary staff in elementary and secondary schools,
b. Authorize funding to states for training secondary school students (with an opt out option) to help equip them with the tools they need for awareness of the warning signs and proper resources to report signs to the appropriate staff
c. Extend the current authorization from 2022 to 2025
d. Carve out- Allocate no less than 15% of grants be used specifically for evidence-based or evidence-informed training with an emphasis on cultural competency each school year in elementary and secondary schools
If you would like to sign onto the bill, please contact Devin Kelsey in Rep. Cleaver’s office at 6-8623 or
Emanuel Cleaver, II Billy Long
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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