Govs Tackle Suicide Prevention
May 29, 2015
Four governors have recently signed bills to help prevent suicide among school-age children. The Georgia bill requires school staff to have annual suicide awareness training and schools to develop a suicide prevention policy. The Montana measure requires development of a suicide prevention program for teachers and other school personnel. The Maryland bill requires school counselors to have training in suicide prevention, including recognizing the signs of depression, substance abuse, and other behavioral health issues. In Utah five suicide prevention bills were passed. These measures extend an existing school safety and crisis response line to cover the whole state and allow texting to be added to the service. The overall goals of the suicide prevention bills in the four states are to make sure that there are services available for school-age children, and to increase the ability of school staff to recognize depression and other behavioral health issues in their students and assist them in getting help.