Services for Teens At Risk

EXCITING LEGISLATIVE NEWS IMPACTING SUICIDE PREVENTION EFFORTS FOR PA SCHOOLS

On June 26, 2014, Governor Corbett signed Act 71, formerly HB 1559, "Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention and Child Exploitation Awareness Education," amending the Public School Code of 1949. [Note that the Act also includes sections of HB 19, which addresses child exploitation awareness education for students and training for school personnel.]

Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, each school entity shall:
  1. Adopt an age-appropriate youth suicide awareness and prevention policy
  2. Include 4 hours of training in youth suicide awareness and prevention every 5 years for professional educators in grades 6 - 12
The bill also stipulates that school entities may:
  • Incorporate a youth suicide awareness and prevention curriculum into its existing instructional programs.
and that the Department of Education shall:
  1. Develop a model youth suicide awareness and prevention policy, in consultation with a youth suicide prevention organization
  2. Develop a model youth suicide awareness and prevention curriculum and make it available to all school entities
  3. Compile, develop, and post on its publicly accessible internet website guidelines and materials for training educators and resources including age-appropriate educational materials.
Visit the following link for the actual law:

STAR-Center, in collaboration with the PAYSPI (PA Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative), is currently reviewing and developing materials to meet the requirements of Act 71. Visit www.payspi.org for updates.