Many schools are using ID cards to combat mental health issues amongst their students. Suicide is a serious health problem that impacts all age groups. But over the past few years, studies show teen suicide and suicidal thoughts have been on the rise. It has grown to the point where suicide is now the second-leading cause of death in adolescents. As a response, several states are stepping in to help provide more support to teens struggling with suicide. One such way is by requiring student ID cards to include suicide prevention and other support contact info. How will this impact school portrait professionals? Many schools now look to their ID card providers to provide leadership and support in this matter. Jeff Edwards, owner of Scholastic Reflections in Milwaukee, WI, has been monitoring the situation and had this to say.
“If you are not aware, there are states that passed legislation requiring suicide information printed on the backside of student ID cards. As a result, some school districts have requested suicide information printed on the back of ID cards as a proactive measure, even if their legislature has not passed the same types of requirements. The challenge is that there are no national specific standards of what must be on the back. Here is my game plan. First, we researched the law passed in our state. In our state there are not any state-specific standards of what needs to be on the back of the card. The location of the information, while required, can be determined on a district-by-district basis. We created two choices of information that we will offer to schools, which they can choose from. To control requests and provide leadership to our customers, we reached out to the schools specified in our state’s legislation, informing them of the law and presenting them with the facts. What we found is often the school administrators were not aware of the need. By being proactive we felt that it would be good marketing and customer service. It would also prevent a situation in which ID cards would need to be replaced because of the lack of this information. We have created the appropriate information that we can submit a studio-designed PRESS printed ID card. We also printed the back of our PVC ID cards with a K (black only) ribbon and shelf them until we print the front side here in the office. If you are printing cards on site, I recommend you print the backside in advance at your office. So when you are printing on location, you are printing only the variable side of the card.”
Below is a list of hotline numbers and information you may find useful:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741
The TREVOR Project (for LGBTQ youths)
Text Start to 678678
So, whether it’s required by your state legislators or not, be aware of this situation, talk to your school administrators and be ready with a plan. If you would like help weighing your options, feel free to call H&H customer service for support in placing your ID card orders. If you need more information on what ID card printing options you have at H&H, click below.