Teen leads charge to put suicide hotline on student IDs, could expand statewide

SHREWSBURY, Mass. — This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. One local teen is doing his part to prevent suicide among his peers.

Carson Domey and his classmates at St. John's High School in Shrewsbury started the new school year with brand-new student ID cards, and they could be lifesavers.

"We hope no one has to use it, but it's there if it's needed," said Domey.

The 15-year-old sophomore wants his classmates to know if they're struggling, help is only a call away.

Domey says a good friend committed suicide last year, so over the summer, he proposed to administration that St. John's put the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number on the back of student ID cards.

"It’s just really great to have another preventative and proactive resource to fight mental health," said Domey.

If you or someone you know is struggling, know there is help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.  

Alex Zequeira, the headmaster at the private, Catholic all-boys school, fully supported Domey's initiative. He says he's surprised it's taken this long for the hotline number to appear on IDs.

According to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 32% of U.S. high school students have reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness and 17% reported they have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.

The initiative at St. John's High School could expand statewide. Right now, there is a bill in the state Senate to add a suicide prevention hotline number on student ID cards for all public and private high schools in Massachusetts.

>> More: Rep. Seth Moulton calls for National Suicide Hotline Designation Act