Outline of the state of District of Columbia
District of Columbia

Professional Development for Suicide Prevention

Professional Development for Suicide Prevention

State law requires districts to provide professional development for school personnel on youth suicide prevention.

Code of the District of Columbia 7–1131.17. Youth behavioral health program.

(a) As of October 1, 2012, there is established within the Department, and shall be made available to all child development facilities, public schools, and public charter schools, a program that, at a minimum, provides participants with the tools needed to:

  • (1) Identify students who may have unmet behavioral health needs;
  • (2) Refer identified students to appropriate services for behavioral health screenings and behavioral health assessments;
  • (3) Recognize the warning signs and risk factors for youth suicide and implement best practices for suicide prevention, suicide intervention, and suicide postvention.


  • (1) Starting October 1, 2016, completion of the program shall be mandatory once every 2 years for all:
    • (A) Teachers in public schools and public charter schools;
    • (B) Principals in public schools and public charter schools; and
    • (C) Staff employed by child development facilities, who are subject to training or continuing education requirements pursuant to licensing regulations.
  • (2) In addition to the individuals described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Mayor may determine through rulemaking other individuals who shall be required to complete the program.
  • (3) The Department may make the program available to other interested individuals.

(c) The Department shall keep a record of all participants who complete the program and shall provide the participants with written proof of completion.

(d) If so approved by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education, the program may count towards professional development credits.

Policy Type