Action was taken this week on a bill that addresses suicide prevention training for educators. It would require by July 1, 2019, school boards 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.
Also by the same date, school boards are required to annually have evidence-based, evidence-supported training on the identification of “Adverse Childhood Experience” (ACE) strategies to mitigate toxic stress response 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, 433 people in Iowa died of suicide, and it is the second leading cause of death for Iowans ages 15-34. It is hoped that this bill would provide the proper training to educators to recognize the signs of possible suicide and prevent future tragedies.