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Suicide Prevention- 282 in the 603

During the 2019 legislative session, NH lawmakers passed Senate Bill 282. RSA 193-J codifies suicide prevention education. The bill addresses the critically important issue of suicide prevention for school-age children. Explore resources and information in support of the law.

Purpose of the Law: Reduce the number of suicides in New Hampshire school population by ensuring suicide prevention education and training is available to school personnel, students and their parents using age appropriate and evidence based materials. Full information about SB 282

Applies to: NH school districts, and NH public charter schools.

The Charge: NH schools districts and NH public charter schools shall develop a policy that includes the following provisions. Faculty, staff and school volunteers will receive minimum cumulative hours training per year in the following areas:

A. Training Faculty, Staff and School Volunteers.

  • Youth suicide risk factors
  • Suicide warning signs
  • Protective factors
  • Responsive procedures
  • Referrals
  • Post intervention and resources available within the school and community

B. Educating Students in:

  • Safe and healthy choices and coping strategies;
  • Recognizing risk factors & warning signs
  • Recognizing signs of mental disorders & suicide in oneself and others;
  • Providing help seeking strategies including how to engage school resources & refer friends for help.

C. Identifying within the school the person or persons who serve as the point of contact when a student is believed to be at an elevated risk for suicide.

D. Making referrals, crisis intervention and other related information, both within the school and community, available for students, parents, faculty, staff and school volunteers.

E. Promoting Cooperative Efforts between school districts, public chartered schools and community suicide prevention program personnel.

The DOE Technical Advisory for Suicide Prevention

Model Policy for School Boards and Districts

Hear from Will Phillips of the NH School Boards Association about RSA 193-J, the Suicide Prevention Education statute, and a model policy put together by the NHSBA to help school boards and districts not only comply with the law but also strive to meet the needs of their school communities using best practices.

This NHSBA video, recorded June 2020, is an overview of the law and a walk-through of NHSBA's model policy. The technical advisory includes the statute language. For assistance writing your community's policy and/or plan, please contact the NH School Boards Association. Questions about trainings that meet the requirements of the law can be directed to the Office of Social & Emotional Wellness.

OSEW Training Partners

This is not intended to be an inclusive and comprehensive list. Other experienced and renowned training partners may meet the needs of schools and districts.

Name: More Than Sad

Overview: this program can be offered to three separate audiences: educators, students and caregivers. It focuses on how to recognize signs of mental health distress in students/peers and refer them for help. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention developed this educational program to help increase knowledge and understanding of suicidal behavior in youth, its causes, treatment and prevention.

Goals: Educators and school staff, students and caregivers will be better prepared to identify and refer students/peers who may be at risk for suicide.

Audience: Educators and school personnel, students and caregivers.

Scope and length: Two hour program including the viewing of a PowerPoint presentation, and instructional videos about teen depression and preventing teen depression. Resources include a "model School Suicide Policy" and an "After a Suicide Toolkit".

Results/data: Contact for testimonials noted below.

Cost: There is no cost for this program. Training fees and supplies will be sponsored by funds raises at NH Out of Darkness Community Walks.

Contact: Shamera Simpson Area Director
Email: [email protected]afsp.org

 

Name: Signs of Suicide (SOS)

Overview: SOS, Signs of Suicide is an evidence based program that teaches students how to identify the signs of suicide and depression in themselves and their peers.

Goals: SOS encourages school staff and students to recognize the signs of depression and suicide and provides them with the tools on how to ACT: Acknowledge, Care, Tell - thus leading to a reduction in youth suicide.

Audience: Middle and High School (Grades 5 - 12). Not intended for Elementary Schools (Grades K - 4).

Scope and length: Approximately one or two class periods for student implementation; two hours for basic staff training, four hours for staff implementation training.

Results/data: In three separate clinical trials, students who received the SOS program were less likely (40-96%) to report a suicide attempt and reported a much greater increase in their knowledge and understanding of suicide and depression.

Cost: Subsidized by Connor's Climb at $495.00 for a new membership (one year), $ 330.00 for a renewal membership (one year).

Contact: Connor's Climb Foundation

 

Name: Connect

Overview: The Connect program is a comprehensive suicide post-prevention program developed by NAMI NH in 2002. The Connect program integrates evidence based informed protocols, training and consultation to prevent suicide, promote healing and reduce risk of contagion after a suicide.

Goals: Create a sustainable infrastructure which will increase the competence of community members, schools and providers in responding to suicide incidents and individuals at risk.

Audience:The Connect program has protocols and training tailored for many sectors of the community including all school personnel and students.

Scope and length: The Connect prevention and post-prevention range from two hours to a full day and can be delivered face-to-face or virtually. Training of trainers is two - three days. An online self-paced training is available  for schools with a two and a four hour option. Two hour trainings are for general audiences; longer trainings are more in-depth with protocols and scenarios for school personnel.

Results/data: Participants results have shown statistically significant increases in knowledge and preparedness to respond, and reduction in levels of stigma around help-seeking and mental health care.

Cost: Varies depending on type of training.

Contact: Elaine de Mello or [email protected]

 

Name: Youth Mental Health First Aid

Overview: Teach adults how to identify, understand and help youth (ages 12- 18) who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.

Goals: Increase mental health literacy and reduce stigma associated with mental illness; understand common signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges in youth; learn how to interact with youth in crisis and how to connect youth with help; learn to apply the ALGEE 5-Steps action plan (Assess for risk of suicide or harm, Listen without judgement, Give reassurance and information,Encourage appropriate professional help, Encourage self-help and other support strategies).

Audience: People who work with and care about youth ages 12 - 18 including teachers, school staff, coaches, camp counselors, youth group leaders, parents and community members.

Scope and length: Three versions, and certification is for three years. (6.5 hour course face-to-face delivery session which can be completed in one or two sessions; 6 hour hybrid delivery session with two hour self-paced online & four hour face-to-face - with one month in between; six hour virtual session with two hour self-paced online and four hour virtual real time session).

Results/data: studies indicate improved mental health literacy knowledge, attitudes and self-confidence. All participants complete session evaluation surveys online and download their certificate from NCBH.

Cost: $29.00 for manual

Contact: NH DOE, Office of Social and Emotional Wellness

 

Name: What Can We Do? Pathways to Understanding Youth Suicide; UNH Professional Development and Training

Goal: Provide ways professionals who work with youth can take action, in large and small ways, both personally and professionally, to feel empowered in the fight to save young lives.

Audience: K - 12 educators, social workers and counselors.

Scope and length: Six hours in person workshop, UNH Manchester

Cost: $189.00

Contact: [email protected]

 

Name: NH K-12 Suicide Prevention training; UNH Professional Development and Training

Goal : Provide in-service training that meets SB282 requirements for educators, administrators and staff working with youth.

Audience: Educators, administrators and staff working with youth in NH public and charter schools.

Scope and length: Two hours

Contact: [email protected]