Massachusetts - Professional Development for Suicide Prevention: Staff Qualifications and Professional Development

Area: 
Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

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

Massachusetts General Laws ch 71.95 Suicide awareness and prevention training

(a) The department, subject to appropriation, shall adopt rules to require that all public school districts and commonwealth charter schools provide at least 2 hours of suicide awareness and prevention training every 3 years to all licensed school personnel. A new hire shall obtain the training within 6 months of being hired. The training shall be provided within the framework of existing in-service training programs offered by the department or as part of required professional development activities.
(b) The department shall, in consultation with the department of public health and suicide prevention experts, develop a list of approved training materials to fulfill the requirements of this section. Approved materials shall include training on how to identify appropriate mental health services both within the school and the larger community, and when and how to refer students and their families to those services.

(c) No person shall have a cause of action for loss or damage caused by an act or omission resulting from the implementation of this section or resulting from the training or lack of training required by this section.

(d) The training or lack of training required by this section shall not be construed to impose a specific duty of care.

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