WASHINGTON, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Thursday, April 14, 2016, Governor Scott of Florida signed HB 7029 into law, helping to strengthen the suicide prevention training requirements in the state. John Madigan, the vice president of public policy from the nation's largest suicide prevention organization, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, released this statement:
"HB 7029 contains a very important section pertaining to suicide prevention. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the Florida Department of Education must develop a list of approved materials to be used for training in youth suicide awareness and prevention for teachers in elementary, middle, and high school. This approved list of materials must include training on how to identify appropriate mental health services and how to refer youth and families to those services. The new law also incentivizes schools to provide 2 hours of this training to their educators by designating schools who choose to participate as "Suicide Prevention Certified Schools."
We thank Governor Rick Scott for signing this important piece of legislation into law, Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Representative Dane Eagle for their leadership in ensuring suicide prevention language was part of the larger education bill, and the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition for their work with AFSP on this issue throughout the legislative session.
We hope someday to see all of our school personnel participate regularly in this training. This is a great step in the right direction and we're proud that our elected officials are taking this public health issue seriously by passing and signing this bill into law."
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that's smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention