CLEVELAND—State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) delivered a presentation regarding suicide prevention to students at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUHCOM) at the Cleveland campus.  Medical students at OUHCOM’s Dublin and Athens campuses were able to participate through a video skype. 

Representative Anielski’s discussion focused primarily on her recently enacted House Bill 28.  The suicide prevention legislation was signed by Governor Kasich in July 2015 and went into effect in October 2015.  House Bill 28 would mandate the availability of suicide prevention programs at Ohio’s institutions of higher education. As enacted, the bill would require a five-part program to be implemented to help both on- and off-campus students who may be suffering in silence.  The program will consist of crisis intervention access, mental health program access, multimedia applications, a student communication plan, and a postvention plan.

Sadly, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among ages 15-24, and now the third-leading cause of death for those ages 10-24 in Ohio, according to 2013 data.  As a state, Ohio is above the national average. 

"The goal of the presentation was to raise awareness and assist students who are emotionally struggling,” Representative Anielski said. "It is my hope that all Ohioans, especially our young adults, get the assistance needed for their personal wellness.  All school staffs, parents and students can deal effectively with emotional well being through online prevention and school intervention programs to meet the emotional needs of all students.  In turn, meeting emotional needs can inspire and empower our student learners.  Thank you to OUHCOM for your engagement and for continuing the discussion." 

Dr. Kirstein Isaac, Dean of OUHCOM’s Cleveland campus, said, “The Heritage College is lucky to have a partner as passionate as Representative Anielski as we  promote wellness and  preventive measures for our students. A group of Heritage College students wrote a resolution that was passed last summer at the American Osteopathic Association’s House of Delegates meeting in Chicago. This resulted in a mandate to provide interventions for our students, residents, and practicing physicians, who are at more risk to die by suicide than the general population. Partnering with a champion like Representative Anielski has transformed our student leaders’ intentions into meaningful action.”

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