THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

691

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO SUICIDE PREVENTION TRAINING.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. In Hawaii, on average, one person dies by suicide every two days. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of ten and fourteen and is the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. In Hawaii, suicide accounts for twenty-five per cent of all fatal injuries.

Suicide rates vary by area, with neighbor island and rural communities seeing higher rates than urban areas. For the period from 2013 to 2015, the statewide suicide rate was 12.9 deaths for every one hundred thousand individuals. For the same time period, for every one hundred thousand people, the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai had 20.4, 15.9, and 14.6 deaths, respectively. The city and county of Honolulu's suicide rate, at 10.3 deaths for every one hundred thousand people, was slightly lower than the state average.

According to the state department of health, the percentage of teenagers in Hawaii who plan to commit suicide and the percentage of teenagers who attempt suicide are among the highest in the nation. For the period from 2005 to 2013, the percentage of high school-aged children with suicide ideation in Hawaii ranged from sixteen to twenty per cent. For the same time period, the percentage of high school-aged children treated for a suicide attempt never dipped below three per cent.

Suicide attempts, like suicide deaths, have harmful, lasting, and profound impacts on families and communities. For every person that dies by suicide, more than thirty others attempt suicide. Therefore, it is important to monitor hospitals and emergency departments to identify individuals in need of immediate intervention.

The stigma of seeking mental health counseling places formidable barriers to providing care and support to individuals in crisis. States across the nation have sought to address this issue by passing legislation mandating that teachers complete in-service training in youth suicide awareness and prevention. In 2007, Tennessee passed the Jason Flatt Act, which required all educators in the state to complete two hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention training every year to be licensed to teach. Twenty states have passed variations of the Jason Flatt Act.

The legislature finds that there is a need to increase the number of individuals in educational institutions, such as teachers, principals, and school counselors, who are trained to identify youth at risk of suicide and refer those children to appropriate services, counseling, and intervention.

The purpose of this Act is to require all teachers, principals, and school counselors to complete two hours of suicide prevention and education training each year.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-   Suicide prevention; in-service training. The department shall require that in-service training include at least two hours of suicide prevention education for all teachers, principals, and school counselors each school year. This education may be accomplished through the provision and completion of suicide prevention materials approved by the department."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Jason Flatt Act; Suicide Prevention Training; School Personnel

 

Description:

Requires two hours of annual in-service training in suicide prevention for all teachers, principals, and school counselors.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.