Rep. Keicher Files Legislation to Improve Access to Mental Health Resources for Students

This week, State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) filed legislation to increase access to mental health support services for K-12 students in Illinois. The legislation, House Bill 2156, builds on legislation from 2021 by adding contact information for the Safe2Help Illinois helpline to the back of student ID cards issued by a student’s school. Safe2Help Illinois offers students a safe, confidential way in which to share information that might help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence or other threats to school safety.

“Sadly, feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide have been on the rise among our students over the past several years, and the school closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have only exacerbated this problem,” said Keicher. “In Illinois, we’ve been working diligently over the past few years to not only increase awareness about mental health resources, but also make it easier to access those resources. House Bill 2156 helps us advance that goal by putting the confidential resources of Safe2Help Illinois directly into the hands of our students.”

In 2021, legislation was signed into law that added the contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now 988) and the Crisis Text Line (741741) to the back of K-12 school ID cards or required school districts to publish the information on their websites if they do not issue ID cards. Through Keicher’s legislation, the Safe2Help Illinois helpline will also be added.

Safe2Help Illinois is specific to our state and is a 24/7 program where students can use a free app, call [844-4-SAFEIL (723345)], text [SAFE2 (72332)], email ( or use a website portal ( to share information and seek support in a confidential environment. Once vetted, the information provided may be shared with local school officials or emergency personnel to ensure students can seek and obtain direct support resources before any harm. The program is not intended to suspend, expel, or punish students, and research from other states with similar programs has been shown to prevent school violence and attempted suicide.

“Addressing the youth mental health crisis is a long-term battle that is vital for our children and future generations,” said Keicher. “I know many of my colleagues in the legislature agree and I hope to see this legislation advance with strong bipartisan support.”

Rep. Keicher serves the 70th District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Kane, and McHenry Counties. For more information about Safe2Help Illinois, click here. For more information about HB 2156, click here.