W.Va. Board Seeks Public Comment on Suicide Prevention Policy

June 14, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education on Thursday voted to place on public comment a policy that helps educators address youth suicide.

The proposals would put into effect guidelines for the Jason Flatt Act of 2012 Suicide Prevention Professional Development for School Personnel. The legislation, passed earlier this year, becomes effective July 1. Under state code, the state board must provide educators with professional development opportunities to learn about warning signs and resources to assist in suicide prevention. The training is to be integrated into efforts to improve school climate and to promote positive youth development.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier in June released its 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The survey indicated that 2,163 West Virginia teenagers seriously considered suicide in the 12 months before the survey and actually made a plan to do so. Nearly 1,900 teens indicated they attempted suicide at least once, resulting in injury, poisoning or overdose.

Educators, parents and community members are encouraged to review the proposal and make suggestions. The policy can be viewed on the West Virginia Department of Education website at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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