State law requires districts to provide professional development for school personnel on youth suicide prevention.
Revised Code of Washington 28A.300.288 Youth suicide prevention activities.
(1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall work with state agency and community partners to assist schools in implementing youth suicide prevention activities, which may include the following:
- (a) Training for school employees, parents, community members, and students in recognizing and responding to the signs of suicide;
- (b) Partnering with local coalitions of community members interested in preventing youth suicide; and
- (c) Responding to communities determined to be in crisis after a suicide or attempted suicide to prevent further instances of suicide.
(2) The office of the superintendent of public instruction, working with state and community partners, shall prioritize funding appropriated for subsection (1) of this section to communities identified as the highest risk.
Revised Code of Washington 28A.310.500 Youth suicide screening and referral—Response to emotional or behavioral distress in students—Training for educators and staff—Suicide prevention training.
(1) Each educational service district shall develop and maintain the capacity to offer training for educators and other school district staff on youth suicide screening and referral, and on recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students, including but not limited to indicators of possible substance abuse, violence, and youth suicide. An educational service district may demonstrate capacity by employing staff with sufficient expertise to offer the training or by contracting with individuals or organizations to offer the training. Training may be offered on a fee-for-service basis, or at no cost to school districts or educators if funds are appropriated specifically for this purpose or made available through grants or other sources.
Revised Code of Washington 28A.310.510 Regional school safety centers.
3) Working in collaboration with the office of the superintendent of public instruction and the statewide network, each regional school safety center must provide to the school districts in its region:
- (a) Behavioral health coordination that, at a minimum, includes:
- (ii) Suicide prevention training for school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers;
Revised Code of Washington 28A.320.127 Plan for recognition screening and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students including possible sexual abuse.
(1) Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, each school district must adopt a plan for recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students, including but not limited to indicators of possible substance abuse, violence, youth suicide, and sexual abuse. The school district must annually provide the plan to all district staff.
(2) At a minimum the plan must address:
- (a) Identification of training opportunities in recognition, screening, and referral that may be available for staff;
Revised Code of Washington 28A.320.290 School counselors, social workers, and psychologists — Professional collaboration.
(1) Within existing resources, beginning in the 2019-20 school year, first - class school districts must provide a minimum of six hours of professional collaboration per year, preferably in person, for school counselors, social workers, and psychologists that focuses on the following: Recognizing signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students, including but not limited to indicators of possible substance abuse, violence, and youth suicide, screening, accessing current resources, and making appropriate referrals. Teachers may also participate in this professional collaboration, as deemed appropriate and allowed by their building administrators. School districts that have mental health centers in their area shall collaborate with local licensed mental health service providers under chapter 71.24 RCW. Those districts without a mental health center in their area shall collaborate via telephone or other remote means that allow for dialogue and discussion. By collaborating with local providers in this manner, educational staff associates get to collaborate in short but regular segments, in their own schools or near school district facilities, and school districts are not put in a position that they must obtain substitutes or otherwise expend additional funds. This local connection will also help foster a connection between school personnel and the mental health professionals in the community to whom school personnel may make referrals, in line with the legislative intent expressed throughout Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 1336, chapter 197, Laws of 2013, to form partnerships with qualified health, mental health, and social services agencies in the community to coordinate and improve support for youth in need and the directive to the department of social and health services with respect to the provision of funds for mental health first-aid training targeted at teachers and educational staff.
(2) Second-class districts are encouraged, but not required, to collaborate and provide the professional collaboration as provided in subsection (1) of this section.
Revised Code of Washington 28A.410.226 Washington professional educator Standard board—Training program on youth suicide screening—Certificates for school nurses social workers psychologists and counselors—Adoption of Standard.
(1) As provided under subsections (2) and (3) of this section, individuals certified by the professional educator Standard board as a school nurse, school social worker, school psychologist, or school counselor must complete a training program on youth suicide screening and referral as a condition of certification. The training program must be at least three hours in length. The professional educator Standard board must adopt Standard for the minimum content of the training in consultation with the office of the superintendent of public instruction and the department of health. In developing the Standard, the board must consider training programs listed on the best practices registry of the American foundation for suicide prevention and the suicide prevention resource center.
(2) This section applies to the following certificates if the certificate is first issued or is renewed on or after July 1, 2015:
- (a) Continuing certificates for school nurses;
- (b) Continuing certificates for school social workers;
- (c) Continuing and professional certificates for school psychologists; and
- (d) Continuing and professional certificates for school counselors.
(3) A school counselor who holds or submits a school counseling certificate from the national board for professional teaching Standard or a school psychologist who holds or submits a school psychologist certificate from the national association of school psychologists in lieu of a professional certificate must complete the training program under subsection (1) of this section by July 1, 2015, or within the five-year period before the certificate is first submitted to the professional educator Standard board, whichever is later, and at least once every five years thereafter in order to be considered certified by the professional educator Standard board.
(4) The professional educator Standard board shall consider the training program under subsection (1) of this section as approved continuing education under RCW 28A.415.020 and shall count the training program toward meeting continuing education requirements for certification as a school nurse, school social worker, school psychologist, or school counselor.