Mental-health advocates support a local legislator's move to expand crisis services into a statewide bullying-specific hotline.
Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, proposed the hotline last week in the Legislature, partially in reaction to the suicide of Iowa student Kenneth Weishum Jr., who was allegedly bullied for being gay.
"If a young person feels motivated enough to contact a crisis hotline, we need to make sure the support network is there," said Mascher, who proposed the initiative along with Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames. "Whatever media they need — texting, online chat, or social media — we need to provide that."
Local crisis officials say the hotline would expand the Johnson County Crisis Center's efforts to combat bullying.