The Governor has signed a bill that addresses suicide prevention training for educators. By July 1, 2019, school boards are now required to have one hour of nationally recognized training on suicide prevention and post intervention for all licensed school personnel who have contact with students grades K-12.

School boards will also be required to annually have evidence-based, evidence-supported training on the identification of “Adverse Childhood Experience” (ACE) strategies to mitigate toxic stress response. The training is required for all licensed school personnel with regular contact with students in K- 12. The content of the training is required to be based on nationally recognized best practices.

ACE are potentially traumatic events occurring in childhood that can have negative, lasting effects on an individual’s health and well-being. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, in 2017, there were 433 people in Iowa who died of suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Iowans ages 15-34. It is hoped that this bill would provide the proper training for educators to recognize the signs of possible suicide and prevent future tragedies.