Jackson County Suicide Prevention Coalition
We are advocating at the State level for mandatory suicide awareness and prevention training for teachers, counselors and administrators in our public schools (The Jason Flatt Act). We hope to engage the educational community by involving them in writing legislation that can be enthusiastically support by both admnistrators and teachers.
As of July, 2014 we have personally advocated with Senator Alan Bates and Representative Sal Esquivel. Contact: Representative Sara Gelser, Chair, House Education Committee, District 16.
We also support interactive local online training, COGNITO, for teachers and administrators.
More youth and young adults now die by suicide then by motor vehicle accidents. We believe that a student who is suicidal can be helped and that a suicide can be prevented. Friends are often aware of suicidal students and turn primarily to teachers as gatekeepers for guidance. It has been shown that educating gatekepers helps reduce suicidal ideation.
The Jason Foundation believes that it is imperative that teachers have the knowledge, training, tools and resources to respond to a request for help. Like first aid training, Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training is a teachable and mantainable skill.
Four states have already mandated annual training and fourteen states have mandated some training in suicide awareness and prevention. We hope to add Oregon to this list.
The State currently mandates annual educator training in blood born pathogens, sexual harrassment and mandatory abuse reporting. We feel suicide awareness and prevention training is at least as important. We do not want to add an excessive burden to our educators and want to work with educators in our state to write a educator friendly and effective training requirement.
Current training, documentation and testing in various subjects is already being done online by teachers in Oregon. The Jason Flatt Act curriculum is already availble online as part of this system and could be added to the existing curriculum.