State of Illinois
2019 and 2020


Introduced 2/13/2019, by Sen. Heather A. Steans


410 ILCS 53/5
410 ILCS 53/10
410 ILCS 53/11 new
410 ILCS 53/13
410 ILCS 53/15
410 ILCS 53/20
410 ILCS 53/30

    Amends the Suicide Prevention, Education, and Treatment Act. Makes changes concerning the findings of the General Assembly. Creates the Office of Suicide Prevention within the Department of Public Health for the purpose of implementing the Act. Requires the Office of Suicide Prevention, in consultation with the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance, to submit an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly on the effectiveness of the activities and programs undertaken under the Illinois Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan that includes any recommendations for modification to Illinois law to enhance the effectiveness of the Plan (instead of an annual report by the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance). Changes what shall be contained in the Plan. Provides that the Office of Suicide Prevention (in addition to the Department) shall provide technical assistance to the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance and implement a general awareness and screening program. Provides that the program shall include an annual statewide suicide prevention conference. Removes provisions requiring the Department to establish 5 suicide prevention pilot programs relating to youth, elderly, special populations, high-risk populations, and professional caregivers. Provides that the Office of Suicide Prevention shall establish programs that are consistent with the Plan. Effective July 1, 2019.

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1    AN ACT concerning health.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Suicide Prevention, Education, and
5Treatment Act is amended by changing Sections 5, 10, 13, 15,
620, 25, and 30 and adding Section 11 as follows:
7    (410 ILCS 53/5)
8    Sec. 5. Legislative findings. The General Assembly makes
9the following findings:
10        (1) 1,474 Illinoisans lost their lives to suicide in
11    2017. During 2016, suicide was the eleventh leading cause
12    of death in Illinois, causing more deaths than homicide,
13    motor vehicle accidents, accidental falls, and numerous
14    prevalent diseases, including liver disease, hypertension,
15    influenza/pneumonia, Parkinson's disease, and HIV. Suicide
16    was the third leading cause of death of ages 15 to 34 and
17    the fourth leading cause of death of ages 35 to 54. Those
18    living outside of urban areas are particularly at risk for
19    suicide, with a rate that is 50% higher than those living
20    in urban areas.
21        (2) For every person who dies by suicide, more than 30
22    others attempt suicide.
23        (3) Each suicide attempt and death impacts countless



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1    other individuals. Family members, friends, co-workers,
2    and others in the community all suffer the long-lasting
3    consequences of suicidal behaviors.
4        (4) Suicide attempts and deaths by suicide have an
5    economic impact on Illinois. The National Center for Injury
6    Prevention and Control estimates that in 2010 each suicide
7    death in Illinois resulted in $1,181,549 in medical costs
8    and work loss costs. It also estimated that each
9    hospitalization for self-harm resulted in $31,019 in
10    medical costs and work loss costs and each emergency room
11    visit for self-harm resulted in $4,546 in medical costs and
12    work loss costs.
13        (5) In 2004, the Illinois General Assembly passed the
14    Suicide Prevention, Education, and Treatment Act (Public
15    Act 93-907), which required the Illinois Department of
16    Public Health to establish the Illinois Suicide Prevention
17    Strategic Planning Committee to develop the Illinois
18    Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan. That law required the
19    use of the 2002 United States Surgeon General's National
20    Suicide Prevention Strategy as a model for the Plan. Public
21    Act 95-109 changed the name of the committee to the
22    Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance. The Illinois Suicide
23    Prevention Strategic Plan was submitted in 2007 and updated
24    in 2018.
25        (6) In 2004, there were 1,028 suicide deaths in
26    Illinois, which the Centers for Disease Control reports was



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1    an age-adjusted rate of 8.11 deaths per 100,000. The
2    Centers for Disease Control reports that the 1,474 suicide
3    deaths in 2017 result in an age-adjusted rate of 11.19
4    deaths per 100,000. Thus, since the enactment of Public Act
5    93-907, the rate of suicides in Illinois has risen by 38%.
6        (7) Since the enactment of Public Act 93-907, there
7    have been numerous developments in suicide prevention,
8    including the issuance of the 2012 National Strategy for
9    Suicide Prevention by the United States Surgeon General and
10    the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
11    containing new strategies and recommended activities for
12    local governmental bodies.
13        (8) Despite the obvious impact of suicide on Illinois
14    citizens, Illinois has devoted minimal resources to its
15    prevention. There is no full-time coordinator or director
16    of suicide prevention activities in the State. Moreover,
17    the Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan is still modeled on
18    the now obsolete 2002 National Suicide Prevention
19    Strategy.
20        (9) It is necessary to revise the Suicide Prevention
21    Strategic Plan to reflect the most current National Suicide
22    Prevention Strategy as well as current research and
23    experience into the prevention of suicide.
24        (10) One of the goals adopted in the 2012 National
25    Strategy for Suicide Prevention is to promote suicide
26    prevention as a core component of health care services so



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1    there is an active engagement of health and social
2    services, as well as the coordination of care across
3    multiple settings, thereby ensuring continuity of care and
4    promoting patient safety.
5        (11) Integrating suicide prevention into behavioral
6    and physical health care services can save lives. National
7    data indicate that: over 30% of individuals are receiving
8    mental health care at the time of their deaths by suicide;
9    45% have seen their primary care physicians within one
10    month of their deaths; and 25% of those who die of suicide
11    visited an emergency department in the month prior to their
12    deaths.
13        (12) The Zero Suicide model is a part of the National
14    Strategy for Suicide Prevention, a priority of the National
15    Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and a project of
16    the Suicide Prevention Resource Center that implements the
17    goal of making suicide prevention a core component of
18    health care services.
19        (13) The Zero Suicide model is built on the
20    foundational belief and aspirational goal that suicide
21    deaths of individuals who are under the care of our health
22    care systems are preventable with the adoption of
23    comprehensive training, patient engagement, transition,
24    and quality improvement.
25        (14) Health care systems, including mental and
26    behavioral health systems and hospitals, that have



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1    implemented the Zero Suicide model have noted significant
2    reductions in suicide deaths for patients within their
3    care.
4        (15) The Suicide Prevention Resource Center
5    facilitates adoption of the Zero Suicide model by providing
6    comprehensive information, resources, and tools for its
7    implementation.
8        (1) The Surgeon General of the United States has
9    described suicide prevention as a serious public health
10    priority and has called upon each state to develop a
11    statewide comprehensive suicide prevention strategy using
12    a public health approach. Suicide now ranks 10th among
13    causes of death, nationally.
14        (2) In 1998, 1,064 Illinoisans lost their lives to
15    suicide, an average of 3 Illinois residents per day. It is
16    estimated that there are between 21,000 and 35,000 suicide
17    attempts in Illinois every year. Three and one-half percent
18    of all suicides in the nation take place in Illinois.
19        (3) Among older adults, suicide rates are increasing,
20    making suicide the leading fatal injury among the elderly
21    population in Illinois. As the proportion of Illinois'
22    population age 75 and older increases, the number of
23    suicides among persons in this age group will also
24    increase, unless an effective suicide prevention strategy
25    is implemented.
26        (4) Adolescents are far more likely to attempt suicide



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1    than other age groups in Illinois. The data indicates that
2    there are 100 attempts for every adolescent suicide
3    completed. In 1998, 156 Illinois youths died by suicide,
4    between the ages of 15 through 24. Using this estimate,
5    there were likely more than 15,500 suicide attempts made by
6    Illinois adolescents or approximately 50% of all estimated
7    suicide attempts that occurred in Illinois were made by
8    adolescents.
9        (5) Homicide and suicide rank as the second and third
10    leading causes of death in Illinois for youth,
11    respectively. Both are preventable. While the death rates
12    for unintentional injuries decreased by more than 35%
13    between 1979 and 1996, the death rates for homicide and
14    suicide increased for youth. Evidence is growing in terms
15    of the links between suicide and other forms of violence.
16    This provides compelling reasons for broadening the
17    State's scope in identifying risk factors for self-harmful
18    behavior. The number of estimated youth suicide attempts
19    and the growing concerns of youth violence can best be
20    addressed through the implementation of successful
21    gatekeeper-training programs to identify and refer youth
22    at risk for self-harmful behavior.
23        (6) The American Association of Suicidology
24    conservatively estimates that the lives of at least 6
25    persons related to or connected to individuals who attempt
26    or complete suicide are impacted. Using these estimates, in



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1    1998, more than 6,000 Illinoisans struggled to cope with
2    the impact of suicide.
3        (7) Decreases in alcohol and other drug abuse, as well
4    as decreases in access to lethal means, significantly
5    reduce the number of suicides.
6        (8) Suicide attempts are expected to be higher than
7    reported because attempts not requiring medical attention
8    are not required to be reported. The underreporting of
9    suicide completion is also likely because suicide
10    classification involves conclusions regarding the intent
11    of the deceased. The stigma associated with suicide is also
12    likely to contribute to underreporting. Without
13    interagency collaboration and support for proven,
14    community-based, culturally-competent suicide prevention
15    and intervention programs, suicides are likely to rise.
16        (9) Emerging data on rates of suicide based on gender,
17    ethnicity, age, and geographic areas demand a new strategy
18    that responds to the needs of a diverse population.
19        (10) According to Children's Safety Network Economics
20    Insurance, the cost of youth suicide acts by persons in
21    Illinois who are under 21 years of age totals $539,000,000,
22    including medical costs, future earnings lost, and a
23    measure of quality of life.
24        (11) Suicide is the second leading cause of death in
25    Illinois for persons between the ages of 15 and 24.
26        (12) In 1998, there were 1,116 homicides in Illinois,



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1    which outnumbered suicides by only 52. Yet, so far, only
2    homicide has received funding, programs, and media
3    attention.
4        (13) According to the 1999 national report on
5    statistics for suicide of the American Association of
6    Suicidology, categories of unintentional injury, motor
7    vehicle deaths, and all other deaths include many reported
8    and unsubstantiated suicides that are not identified
9    correctly because of poor investigatory techniques,
10    unsophisticated inquest jurors, and stigmas that cause
11    families to cover up evidence.
12        (14) Programs for HIV infectious diseases are very well
13    funded even though, in Illinois, HIV deaths number 30% less
14    than suicide deaths.
15(Source: P.A. 93-907, eff. 8-11-04.)
16    (410 ILCS 53/10)
17    Sec. 10. Definitions. For the purpose of this Act, unless
18the context otherwise requires:
19    "Alliance" means the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance.
20    "Department" means the Department of Public Health.
21    "Office of Suicide Prevention" means the Office of Suicide
22Prevention within the Department of Public Health.
23    "Plan" means the Illinois Suicide Prevention Strategic
24Plan set forth in Section 15.
25(Source: P.A. 95-109, eff. 1-1-08.)



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1    (410 ILCS 53/11 new)
2    Sec. 11. Office of Suicide Prevention. The Office of
3Suicide Prevention is created within the Department of Public
4Health for the purpose of implementing this Act.
5    (410 ILCS 53/13)
6    Sec. 13. Duration; report. The Office of Suicide
7Prevention, in consultation with All projects set forth in this
8Act must be at least 3 years in duration, and the Department
9and related contracts as well as the Illinois Suicide
10Prevention Alliance, must submit an annual report annually to
11the Governor and General Assembly on the effectiveness of the
12these activities and programs undertaken under the Plan that
13includes any recommendations for modification to Illinois law
14to enhance the effectiveness of the Plan.
15(Source: P.A. 95-109, eff. 1-1-08.)
16    (410 ILCS 53/15)
17    Sec. 15. Suicide Prevention Alliance.
18    (a) The Alliance is created as the official grassroots
19creator, planner, monitor, and advocate for the Illinois
20Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan. No later than one year after
21the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General
22Assembly Act, the Alliance shall review, finalize, and submit
23to the Governor and the General Assembly the 2020 Illinois



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1Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan and appropriate processes
2and outcome objectives for 10 overriding recommendations and a
3timeline for reaching these objectives.
4    (b) The Plan shall include: The Alliance shall use the
5United States Surgeon General's National Suicide Prevention
6Strategy as a model for the Plan.
7        (1) recommendations from the most current National
8    Suicide Prevention Strategy;
9        (2) current research and experience into the
10    prevention of suicide;
11        (3) measures to encourage and assist health care
12    systems and primary care providers to include suicide
13    prevention as a core component of their services,
14    including, but not limited to, implementing the Zero
15    Suicide model; and
16        (4) additional elements as determined appropriate by
17    the Alliance.
18    The Alliance shall review the statutorily prescribed
19missions of major State mental health, health, aging, and
20school mental health programs and recommend, as necessary and
21appropriate, statutory changes to include suicide prevention
22in the missions and procedures of those programs. The Alliance
23shall prepare a report of that review, including its
24recommendations, and shall submit the report to the Office of
25Suicide Prevention for inclusion in its annual report to the
26Governor and the General Assembly by December 31, 2004.



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1    (c) The Director of Public Health shall appoint the members
2of the Alliance. The membership of the Alliance shall include,
3without limitation, representatives of statewide organizations
4and other agencies that focus on the prevention of suicide and
5the improvement of mental health treatment or that provide
6suicide prevention or survivor support services. Other
7disciplines that shall be considered for membership on the
8Alliance include law enforcement, first responders,
9faith-based community leaders, universities, and survivors of
10suicide (families and friends who have lost persons to suicide)
11as well as consumers of services of these agencies and
13    (d) The Alliance shall meet at least 4 times a year, and
14more as deemed necessary, in various sites statewide in order
15to foster as much participation as possible. The Alliance, a
16steering committee, and core members of the full committee
17shall monitor and guide the definition and direction of the
18goals of the full Alliance, shall review and approve
19productions of the plan, and shall meet before the full
20Alliance meetings.
21(Source: P.A. 95-109, eff. 1-1-08.)
22    (410 ILCS 53/20)
23    Sec. 20. General awareness and screening program.
24    (a) The Department and the Office of Suicide Prevention
25shall provide technical assistance for the work of the Alliance



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1and the production of the Plan and shall distribute general
2information and screening tools for suicide prevention to the
3general public through local public health departments
4throughout the State. These materials shall be distributed to
5agencies, schools, hospitals, churches, places of employment,
6and all related professional caregivers to educate all citizens
7about warning signs and interventions that all persons can do
8to stop the suicidal cycle.
9    (b) This program shall include, without limitation, all of
10the following:
11        (1) Educational programs about warning signs and how to
12    help suicidal individuals.
13        (2) Educational presentations about suicide risk and
14    how to help at-risk people in special populations and with
15    bilingual support to special cultures.
16        (3) The designation of an annual suicide awareness week
17    or month to include a public awareness campaign on suicide.
18        (4) An annual A statewide suicide prevention
19    conference before November of 2004.
20        (5) An Illinois Suicide Prevention Speaker's Bureau.
21        (6) A program to educate the media regarding the
22    guidelines developed by the American Association for
23    Suicidology for coverage of suicides and to encourage media
24    cooperation in adopting these guidelines in reporting
25    suicides.
26        (7) Increased training opportunities for volunteers,



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1    professionals, and other caregivers to develop specific
2    skills for assessing suicide risk and intervening to
3    prevent suicide.
4(Source: P.A. 95-109, eff. 1-1-08.)
5    (410 ILCS 53/30)
6    Sec. 30. Suicide prevention pilot programs.
7    (a) The Office of Suicide Prevention Department shall
8establish, when funds are appropriated, programs, including,
9but not limited to, pilot and demonstration programs, that are
10consistent with the Plan. up to 5 pilot programs that provide
11training and direct service programs relating to youth,
12elderly, special populations, high-risk populations, and
13professional caregivers. The purpose of these pilot programs is
14to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of the projects
15set forth in this Act in the communities in which they are
16offered. The pilot programs shall be operational for at least 2
17years of the 3-year requirement set forth in Section 13.
18    (b) The Director of Public Health is encouraged to ensure
19that the pilot programs include the following prevention
21        (1) school gatekeeper and faculty training;
22        (2) community gatekeeper training;
23        (3) general community suicide prevention education;
24        (4) health providers and physician training and
25    consultation about high-risk cases;



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1        (5) depression, anxiety, and suicide screening
2    programs;
3        (6) peer support youth and older adult programs;
4        (7) the enhancement of 24-hour crisis centers,
5    hotlines, and person-to-person calling trees;
6        (8) means restriction advocacy and collaboration; and
7        (9) intervening and supporting after a suicide.
8    (b) (c) The funds appropriated for purposes of this Section
9shall be allocated by the Office Department on a competitive,
10grant-submission basis, which shall include consideration of
11different rates of risk of suicide based on age, ethnicity,
12gender, prevalence of mental health disorders, different rates
13of suicide based on geographic areas in Illinois, and the
14services and curriculum offered to fit these needs by the
15applying agency.
16    (d) The Department and Alliance shall prepare a report as
17to the effectiveness of the demonstration projects established
18pursuant to this Section and submit that report no later than 6
19months after the projects are completed to the Governor and
20General Assembly.
21(Source: P.A. 95-109, eff. 1-1-08.)
22    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,