Pennsylvania - Suicide Prevention Policy: Policy or Plan Requirements

Area: 
Policy Or Plan Requirements
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to adopt suicide prevention policies.

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.
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