TRENTON, NJ --   Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Benson to expand access to suicide prevention treatment was passed by the Assembly Human Services Committee on Monday.    The measure would require clinical social workers, therapists, counselors, psychologists and psychoanalysts to complete a minimum of four hours of suicide prevention training every six years chosen from a list of approved training programs created by the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

"Suicide continues to be the second most common cause of death among teenagers and the fourth leading cause of death among adults. Given these heartbreaking statistics, it is crucial that we start treating suicide like the public health crisis it is," said Benson. 

 According to the CDC, suicide remains one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S.  

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"With suicide prevention training, mental health practitioners who are on the front lines of this crisis will be better equipped to provide up-to-date treatment to at-risk individuals and provide patients with the emergency care they need," Benson added.  "If just one life is saved as a result of expanded training, these efforts will have been worth it."

The New Jersey violent death reporting system found that 30 percent of people who died by suicide in 2015 were in either mental health or substance abuse treatment at the time of their death.

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