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Senate approves bill allowing schools to offer yearly suicide awareness and prevention training

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Kay Floyd has won unanimous approval for Senate Bill 175, allowing schools to offer suicide awareness and prevention training on a yearly basis.  Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, passed legislation in 2021 mandating training every two years, but since has decided to give schools an additional option to do the program yearly.  The measure was approved on Monday.

“When I ran my bill two years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had released data showing suicide had become the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24,” Floyd said.  “Since then, we’ve learned that depression and suicidal thoughts among children and teens worsened during the pandemic.  My legislation this year simply makes it clear that our schools can offer this free and effective suicide prevention and awareness training more frequently if they choose.”

Floyd pointed out the material for the training is provided by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services at no cost to Oklahoma school districts.

“One of the most popular training programs available only takes an hour to complete, but that one hour could give teachers and staff the knowledge they need to better identify students who may be thinking of suicide before it’s too late,” Floyd said.

SB 175 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.  The House principal author is Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan.