CALIFORNIA: “It’s OK to Say Suicide”: School Districts Set New Tone for Suicide Prevention Awareness
October 13, 2017
Following the recent passage of suicide prevention legislation, California school districts are taking steps to implement suicide prevention programs for the new school year. Assembly Bill 2246 requires public schools to develop suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies for students in grades 7 to 12. Passed in 2016, the bill calls for policies to be in place by the start of the 2017 school year. “With this change, we can better identify students in need, get them help, and keep them safe,” said State Superintendent Tom Torlakson. According to the Tulare & Kings Counties Suicide Prevention Task Force, the new law has helped to raise awareness about suicide prevention by making it a mandatory topic of conversation. The Visalia Unified school district, for example, has adopted the California Mental Health Services Authority’s Know the Signs campaign, which aims to increase knowledge of the warning signs of suicide. The district has prepared an informational video for staff, made flyers to post on campus, and plans to add suicide prevention resources to its website.
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