Bill Text: NH SB282 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relative to suicide prevention education in schools.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Passed) 2019-08-05 - Signed by the Governor on 08/02/2019; Chapter 315; Effective 07/01/2020 [SB282 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2019-SB282-Introduced.html










AN ACT relative to suicide prevention education in schools.


SPONSORS: Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Chandley, Dist 11; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Dietsch, Dist 9; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. Levesque, Dist 12; Sen. Morgan, Dist 23; Sen. Morse, Dist 22; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Rep. M. Smith, Straf. 6; Rep. Marsh, Carr. 8; Rep. Danielson, Hills. 7; Rep. Hennessey, Graf. 1


COMMITTEE: Education and Workforce Development






This bill requires school districts and chartered public schools to:


I.  Develop a policy for preventing, assessing the risk of, and responding to student suicide.


II.  Provide training for faculty, staff, and school volunteers on suicide prevention.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen


AN ACT relative to suicide prevention education in schools.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Chapter; Suicide Prevention Education.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 193-I the following new chapter:



193-J:1  Legislative Purpose.  The general court finds that:

I.  Suicide cuts across ethnic, economic, social, and age boundaries and has a tremendous and traumatic impact on surviving family members, friends, and the community at-large.

II.  After unintentional injury, suicide is the leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24.  At a time when unintentional injuries have been on the decline, suicides have increased.

III.  In 2008, the state board of education, under RSA 186:11, was charged with providing “information about youth suicide prevention to all public and private schools to facilitate the delivery of appropriate courses and programs.”

IV.  The legislature recognizes that suicide is a complex issue that requires school, family, and community resources to be harnessed for appropriate and timely help to be available to New Hampshire students in order to prevent suicide.

V.  The purpose of this chapter is to reduce the number of suicides in our school population by ensuring that suicide prevention education and training is available to school personnel and to students and their parents using age-appropriate and evidence-based materials.

193-J:2  Suicide Prevention Education.

I.  Each school district and chartered public school shall develop a policy that guides the development and implementation of a coordinated plan to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to suicide.  The policy shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following provisions:

(a)  Training faculty, staff, and school volunteers in youth suicide risk factors, warning signs, protective factors, response procedures, referrals, post-intervention, and resources available within the school and community.

(b)  Educating students in the importance of safe and healthy choices and coping strategies, recognizing risk factors and warning signs of mental disorders and suicide in oneself and others, and providing help-seeking strategies for oneself or others, including how to engage school resources and refer friends for help.

(c)  Identifying within the school the person or persons who serve as the point of contact when a student is believed to be at an elevated risk for suicide.

(d)  Making referral, crisis intervention, and other related information, both within the school and the community, available for students, parents, faculty, staff, and school volunteers.

(e)  Promoting cooperative efforts between school districts, chartered public schools, and community suicide prevention program personnel.

II.  Each school district and chartered public school shall provide training, to begin within 9 months of the effective date of this chapter, for faculty, staff, and school volunteers in youth suicide risk factors, warning signs, protective factors, response procedures, referrals, post-intervention, and resources available within the school and community.  Training shall occur within the first year for newly hired faculty and staff, and every 3 years thereafter.  The training shall be accomplished within the framework of existing in-service training programs or offered as part of ongoing professional development activities.

III.  School suicide prevention policies required under paragraph I and the training required under paragraph II shall be evidence-based and adhere to best practices, as found on the national best practice registry maintained by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

IV.  Nothing in this chapter shall require the inclusion of any specific curriculum, textbook, or other material designed to address the topic of suicide in any program or activity conducted by a school district or chartered public school.

193-J:3  Immunity.  Nothing in this chapter shall create a private right of action against any school administrative unit, school district, public academy, chartered public school, the state, or any employee, contractor, subcontractor, or agent thereof.  A school administrative unit employee, school employee, chartered public school employee, public academy employee, regular school volunteer, pupil, parent, legal guardian, or employee of a company under contract to a school, school district, school administrative unit, or chartered public school, shall be immune from civil liability for conduct arising from or related to the implementation of, or failure to adequately implement, this chapter.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.









AN ACT relative to suicide prevention education in schools.



The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant is unable to complete a fiscal note for this bill, as introduced, as it is awaiting information from the Department of Education who was originally contacted on January 5, 2019, with follow up on January 24, 2019 for a fiscal note worksheet, which they have not provided as of January 28, 2019.  When completed, the fiscal note will be forwarded to the Senate Clerk's Office.



Department of Education