WASHINGTON D.C.: School Mental Health and Suicide Legislation
The District of Columbia’s Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Amendment Act of 2016 requires that teachers and principals be trained in youth behavioral health every two years. This legislation also requires the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to publish guidelines that assist schools in developing policies and procedures for (1) identifying and supporting students with mental health concerns and (2) suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. These policies should describe how schools will respond to suicides and mental health crises and how schools will help students access school- and community-based mental health support services. The legislation emphasizes serving youth identified as being at risk for suicide by the District of Columbia Youth Risk Behavior Survey, including youth with mental illness or substance use disorders; homeless youth; youth with lived experience; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning youth.
For more information on policies that may have an impact on suicide, see Suicide Prevention Policy and Legislation.