District of Columbia - Professional Development for Mental Health: Staff Qualifications and Professional Development

Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 

State law requires districts to provide professional development for school personnel on youth mental health.

D.C. Code 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.
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