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New Law Requires Teachers to Get Suicide Prevention Training

Gage Skidmore/flickr

Teachers, counselors and principals in public school districts and charter schools must receive suicide awareness and prevention training at least every three years under legislation signed by Gov. Doug Ducey.

The bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sean Bowie of Phoenix passed the Legislature unanimously and the Republican governor signed it Wednesday.

The law is named after Mitch Warnock, a student at Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe who died of suicide at age 18. His parents advocated for the legislation.

The law requires schools to train teachers working with students in grades 6-12 to identify the warning signs of suicidal behavior in students. The state Medicaid program will develop training materials.

The state Health Services Department says 50 Arizona adolescents and teens died by suicide in 2017.

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