Indiana teachers grades 5 and up must go through suicide prevention training at least once every three years, beginning July 1.
That’s after a 2017 law crafted by the General Assembly, which lawmakers updated the law this year to advance statewide suicide prevention efforts.
A statewide suicide prevention coordinator – created by the 2017 law – spent the last year with the Departments of Health and Education to organize the soon-to-be mandatory training courses. Lawmakers this year sought to broaden the definition of acceptable training. It changed from “evidence-based” to “research-based.”
Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) says the 2017 law's definition was too restrictive.
“We didn’t want to choke off promising programs or innovative approaches that people were looking into in the state of Indiana,” Head says.
Marion County Commission on Youth Public Policy and Advocacy Director Mindi Goodpaster says the next step is more money for those programs. She says one avenue is training more trainers.
“And then we have a broader array of people who are available do the trainings," Goodpaster says. "We can make it more cost effective and more efficient.”
This year’s law also requires emergency medical technicians to take suicide prevention training.