CONCORD — The New Hampshire Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 282-FN, relative to suicide prevention education in schools, on Tuesday and recommended the bill as "ought to pass."
The bill requires school districts and chartered public schools to develop a policy for preventing, assessing the risk of and responding to student suicide, and to provide training for faculty, staff and school volunteers on suicide prevention.
"This legislation allows us to start tackling the complex and heartbreaking issue of suicide among youth in our school systems,” said Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), prime sponsor of the legislation. “Teaching suicide prevention in schools is vital to combat this epidemic and an effective tool for reducing the risk of suicide for people ages 10-24, the age group most likely to commit suicide. Supporting this legislation sends the message that we will not sit idly by as this tragic problem plagues our state.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide rates have steadily increased nationwide in recent years.
“I am pleased the Senate Education Committee looked favorably upon this important bill and will work with my colleagues to ensure its passage on the Senate floor,” he added.
“I am proud to support SB 282-FN to provide our teachers with further training to identify bullying and recognize tendencies for children who may be at risk of suicide,” said Sen. Ruth Ward (R-Stoddard) member of the Education and Workforce Development Committee. “Educating teachers to identify these warning signs is a critical first step to prevent suicides among our student population, who may not have the support networks to cope with the pressures many teenagers face. We must continue to support policies in New Hampshire that will help keep our children safe, and I look forward to working with the legislature to move this bill forward.”