RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Suicide Prevention Education Bill Needs Action!
March 21, 2014

House Bill 1559, introduced by Representative Frank Farina provides for suicide prevention education in the school setting and would require schools to adopt youth suicide awareness and prevention policies. This bill would:

  • Require educators to have four hours of suicide prevention training every five years;
  • Require schools to implement policy and procedures regarding suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention; and
  • Require schools to implement some basic curriculum to be taught to grades 6-12 regarding suicide prevention.

HB 1559 originally passed the House on September 24, 2013 and was amended to include these important provisions for suicide prevention programs in the schools. The Senate passed the bill as amended on February 4. The bill must now pass the House as amended. It was referred to the House Rules Committee and has not yet been voted out of committee for a floor vote. House leadership proposes to strip this mandate from the bill, though the suicide prevention provisions have been deemed to have no fiscal impact by both House and Senate analysts. 

RCPA members are urged to contact the following members of House leadership to send HB 1559 out of the House Rules Committee to the floor for a concurrence vote as soon as possible. The Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative has provided a letter that can be personalized and used as a template. 

Passage of HB 1559 would make Pennsylvania a leader in suicide prevention in schools. Members are urged to contact legislators and communicate support. Questions and comments may be directed to Anne Leisure.

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