- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Suicide-prevention legislation inspired by a New Jersey high school track star and Ivy League college student who took her own life was advanced Thursday by the Assembly’s higher education committee.

The Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act would require higher education institutions to have a professional with mental health training available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Schools would have to provide the contact information within 15 days of the start of each semester.

Madison Holleran was a 19-year-old a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania when she died in January 2014. Before going to college, the 2013 graduate of Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale was that year’s New Jersey state champion in the 800-meter track event.

Holleran’s parents, Jim and Stacy Holleran, are supportive of the legislation and have established the Madison Holleran Foundation, which aims to help students who might be contemplating suicide or living with depression.

According to the most recent data supplied by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, 72 percent of the 233 youth suicides that occurred in the state in 2010-2012 were young adults between the ages of 19-24.

“We cannot ignore this deeply concerning plague,” said Democratic Assemblyman Joseph Lagana, a co-sponsor of the measure, which has cleared a state Senate committee.

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