Suicide Awareness & Prevention
There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Suicide talk, threats, and warning signs MUST be taken seriously. “I am concerned about you and we need to get you help.” Get help! It is important to remember that raising the topic of suicide does not lead to suicide.
Jason Flatt Act
In 2007, The Jason Flatt Act was first passed in Tennessee and became the nation’s most inclusive and mandatory youth suicide awareness and prevention legislation pertaining to Teacher’s In-Service Training. It required all educators in the state to complete 2 hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention training each year in order to be able to be licensed to teach in Tennessee. This was soon followed by Louisiana and California in 2008 (California is mandated to be offered – not individual teacher requirement which is the only difference to all other states). Mississippi passed The Jason Flatt Act in 2009 follow by Illinois in 2010 and Arkansas in 2011. The year 2012 would prove to be a record-breaking year for The Jason Flatt Act passing in five states; West Virginia, Utah, Alaska, South Carolina and Ohio. North Dakota passed the legislation in 2013. Wyoming passed legislation in 2014. Georgia, Montana, and Texas passed legislation in 2015. South Dakota, Alabama, and Kansas passed the legislation in 2016. Most recently, Idaho passed The Jason Flatt Act in March of 2018. In all, 20 states have now passed The Jason Flatt Act ( 40% of all states).
In all 20 states, The Jason Flatt Act has been supported by the state’s Department of Education and the state’s Teacher’s Association which points to the value seen in such preventative training. When introduced under The Jason Flatt Act, a state can pass this important life-saving/life-changing legislation without a fiscal note.
For more information on The Jason Flatt Act or to inquire about how your state may introduce this legislation please visit The Jason Flatt Foundation.