Previously aired video shows coverage of a hotline that launched over the summer for those facing mental health, addiction crisis

COLUMBUS, OH (WJW) – Athletics coaches in Ohio might soon be required to take a course in student mental health as part of the requirements to renew their coaching permits.

State Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta) will soon be introducing the “Athletic Coach Mental Health Training” bill, according to a release from his office.

“Mental health is just as important to a student’s well-being as their physical health is,” said Loychik. “This bill would not require coaches to become therapists or medical professionals, but merely give them the tools they need to identify mental health issues in their students and then know how to direct those students to receive the care that they need that might help save their lives.”

The legislation is being reintroduced from the previous General Assembly, House Bill 492, which passed out of the House Chamber but failed to make it through the Senate before the end of its term.

The bill spells out that the training course will need to be approved and certified by the Department of Mental Health.

A study from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services from 2009 to 2019 shows that the number of high school students reporting persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased by 40%; the share seriously considering attempting suicide increased by 36%; and the share creating a suicide plan increased by 44%, according to Loychik.

He is currently seeking cosponsors for the legislation and hopes to introduce it to the 135th General Assembly soon.

Stay with FOX 8 for more developments.