AJ’s Policy

AJ Hart

Find the Light was founded after the tragic death of AJ Hart, who died by suicide following a mental health crisis. AJ was a well-loved student, athlete, and friend, and the community deeply felt his loss. It was in the aftermath of his passing that the founders of Find the Light realized that while public schools are the number one provider of youth mental healthcare, there is no standardized way to determine how many students have died by suicide in each district.

The difficulty in collecting accurate and comprehensive data on student suicide is a major issue, as it makes it impossible for districts to know that they have a mental health problem. Without these statistics, districts cannot allocate resources effectively, and students who are struggling with mental health issues may not receive the support they need.

To address this issue, Find the Light authored a bill called AJ’s Law, which would require districts and health departments to maintain publicly available statistics on student suicide and overdose. The bill would have enabled districts to better understand the scope of the problem and allocate resources more effectively to support student mental health.

While so many legislators graciously expressed their support and willingness to sponsor AJ’s Law, we have been advised by representatives and the state organizations that work in these areas that we can achieve our goals through bureaucratic policies rather than a new law, which will greatly decrease the amount of time it will take for the changes to take effect, and allow us to continually work with the state in the future for any changes that are needed.

In memory of AJ and all those who have lost their lives to suicide, Find the Light is committed to raising awareness of the importance of mental health support for students and improving access to care.

For more information or to get involved, send us an email: contact@findthelightfoundation.org