State law requires districts to adopt suicide prevention policies.
Act 71: Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention and Child Exploitation Awareness Education
This page outlines Act 71 which includes Section 1516, the suicide prevention policy requirement.
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 13. Section 1302-E. Threat assessment teams
(a) Duties of school entities and chief school administrators.— The following shall apply: (1) Each school entity shall establish at least one team as provided under subsection (b) for the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior may indicate a threat to the safety of the student, other students, school employees, school facilities, the community or others. ... (b) Team requirements.— The following shall apply to teams established under subsection (a): ... (iv) Be responsible, at a minimum, for the following: ... (E) Assessing and responding to reports of students exhibiting self-harm or suicide risk factors or warning signs as provided for under section 1526.
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 2014 Act 71 Section 1526 Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention
(a) Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, each school entity shall:
- (1) Adopt an age-appropriate youth suicide awareness and prevention policy consistent with subsection (c), inform each school entity employe and the parent or legal guardian of each student enrolled in the school entity of such policy and post such policy on the school entity’s publicly accessible Internet website. The policy adopted by a school entity under this paragraph may be based upon the model policy developed by the department under subsection (b)(1).
- (2) Include in the professional development plan submitted by the school entity to the secretary for approval pursuant to section 1205.1 four (4) hours of training in youth suicide awareness and prevention every five (5) years for professional educators in school buildings serving students in grades six through twelve. Training under this paragraph may be used to satisfy a professional educator’s continuing professional education requirement under section 1205.2. A school entity may use the materials made available by the department under subsection (b)(2) to conduct such training.
(b) The department shall:
- (1) In consultation with a youth suicide prevention organization operating in this Commonwealth, develop a model youth suicide awareness and prevention policy which shall be consistent with subsection (c).
- (2) Compile, develop and post on its publicly accessible Internet website the following, which may include materials already publicly available:
- (i) Recommended guidelines and educational materials for the training required under subsection (a)(2).
- (ii) Recommended resources and age-appropriate educational materials on youth suicide awareness and prevention.
- (3) Develop a model youth suicide awareness and prevention curriculum and make such curriculum available to all school entities and, upon request, to nonpublic schools. A school entity may incorporate such curriculum into its existing instructional program pursuant to the school entity’s youth suicide awareness and prevention policy.
(c) The model policy developed by the department under subsection (b)(1) and any policy adopted by a school entity under subsection (a)(1) shall include the following:
- (1) A statement on youth suicide awareness and prevention.
- (2) Protocols for administering youth suicide awareness and prevention education to staff and students.
- (3) Methods of prevention, including procedures for early identification and referral of students at risk of suicide.
- (4) Methods of intervention, including procedures that address an emotional or mental health safety plan for students identified as being at increased risk of suicide.
- (5) Methods of responding to a student or staff suicide or suicide attempt.
- (6) Reporting procedures.
- (7) Recommended resources on youth suicide awareness and prevention programs, including current contact information for such programs.
Section 1526: Suicide Awareness/ Prevention Education: Guidelines & Educational Materials
This page outlines the state's suicide prevention policy mandate which includes regularly scheduled PD for teachers. It also provides training resources on the page.
The Framework for Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness of PK-12 Students Endorsement Program Guidelines
This document outlines Act 71 school based suicide prevention (from 2014) on page 4. The document provides information about an SEL certification program in the state.
Model Suicide Awareness and Prevention Administrative Regulation
This page outlines the administrative regulation component of the suicide awareness and prevention policy. It includes more explicit detail about the training staff should receive.
Model Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention Policy
This page outlines a sample suicide prevention policy, and explicitly details what components are required to be included in individal policies.