Maine DOE adopts rules for suicide awareness and prevention

Rule Chapter 38:  Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Maine Public Schools has been finally adopted by the Department of Education and took effect June 29, 2014.

The rule provides the guidelines needed to ensure that schools provide staff with appropriate training to meet the law.  Training must conform to national guidelines.  All school personnel paid by a school administrative unit must receive the 1 to 2 hour awareness and prevention level training at least once every 5 years. In addition, at least 2 school personnel per school district must complete a one-day course in suicide prevention and intervention training, commonly referred to as Gatekeeper Training. Additional trained school personnel above the minimum of 2 must receive the training if the number of students in the school administrative unit is above 1,000.

The one-hour to 2-hour in-service training module in suicide awareness and prevention must be completed by all high school staff by the start of the 2014-2015 school year and by all elementary and middle school staff by the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

For more information on available training to support implementation of this new law go to NAMI Maine’s Suicide Prevention Training Calendar webpage  or NAMI Maine’s Suicide Prevention and Education webpage. Additional information on suicide prevention and awareness can be found at www.maine.gov/doe/healthed/ or www.maine.gov/suicide/.

Please contact Susan Berry, the Department’s Health Education and Health Promotion Coordinator, at susan.berry@maine.gov  or 207-624-6695 if you have any questions.