The bill encourages school districts, public schools, charter schools, and institute charter schools (schools) to develop and adopt a student suicide prevention policy (prevention policy) and to designate a staff person to serve as a student suicide prevention coordinator for the school. Each school may select the type of training and programs to use that best suit its individual needs, but schools are encouraged to include in prevention policies:
- A tiered training approach for school personnel;
- Life skills, social emotional learning, and resiliency training for students that is integrated throughout all areas of the curricula, to the extent possible;
- Training for students to effectively educate their peers about suicide risk factors, signs, and symptoms, as well as the importance of reaching out to a trusted adult when needed;
- Parent education about suicide; and
- The use of curricula and professional development materials, training, and other resources from the office of suicide prevention (OSP) in the department of public health and environment (department), the school safety resource center in the department of public safety, and the Colorado parent and teacher association.
The student suicide prevention grant program for schools (grant program) is created in the department, to be administered by the department. The purpose of the grant program is to provide financial assistance to schools in the development and implementation of prevention policies. The grant program may authorize up to 25 grants per year, ranging between $5,000 and $10,000. The state board of health shall promulgate rules concerning the guidelines and criteria for the grant program. An advisory board is created in the OSP to work in collaboration with the department to make recommendations concerning guidelines and criteria, assist with reviewing grant applications, and make recommendations concerning grant awards.
The student suicide prevention grant program for schools fund is created and authorized to accept appropriations from the general assembly, as well as gifts, grants, and donations.
The department is required to post on its website available evidence-based best practices and other resources for persons involved in student suicide prevention.
The bill makes conforming amendments that authorize the existing office of suicide prevention in statute.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)