Act 71 - Background
On June 26, 2014, Act 71 was signed into law in Pennsylvania. This law, which added section 1526 of the School Code, 24 PS § 15-1526, specifically requires school entities to: (1) adopt a youth suicide awareness and prevention policy; and (2) provide ongoing professional development in youth suicide awareness and prevention for professional educators in building serving students in grades 6-12. Additionally, section 1526 specifically permits school entities to incorporate curriculum on this topic into their instructional programs pursuant to their youth suicide awareness and prevention policies.
Suicide Awareness & Prevention Services
Protecting the health and well-being of all students is of utmost importance to the Indiana Area School District. The District's Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coordinator is _________. Additionally, each school has designated a suicide prevention coordinator to serve as a point of contact for students in crisis and to refer students to appropriate resources. The school counselor and/or the school nurse serve as the coordinators.
When a student is identified as being at risk, they will be assessed by a school employed mental health professional who will work with the student and help connect them to appropriate local resources.
Students will have access to national resources which they can contact for additional support, such as:
All students will be expected to help create a school culture of respect and support in which students feel comfortable seeking help for themselves or friends. Students are encouraged to tell any staff member if they, or a friend, are feeling suicidal or in need of help.
Students should also know that because of the life or death nature of these matters, confidentiality or privacy concerns are secondary to seeking help for students in crisis.