Suicide Prevention Training for Schools

In 2019, the Arizona State legislature passed Senate Bill 1468 mandating all public school staff be trained in an evidence-based, best practice suicide prevention training at least once every three years.

Known as the Mitch Warnock Act, named after a Tempe teenager who died by suicide, the statute states that AHCCCS will select evidence-based, best practice suicide prevention training materials.

The law goes into effect at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year and mandates that all school staff who interact with students in grades 6 through 12 must receive suicide prevention training at least once every three years.

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), in coordination with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), have selected the following school suicide prevention training options. School administrators can choose from among these materials as they work toward meeting the statute’s requirements.

  • Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR).
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
  • At-Risk for High School Educators (available online).
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid.
  • Suicide Alertness for Everyone (safeTALK).
  • ACT on FACTS (available online).
  • More than Sad – Suicide Prevention Education for Teachers and other School Personnel.
  • Be a Link! Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training.

The methodology used to select these materials include the review of The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Suicide Prevention Toolkit for High Schools, review of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional gateway trainings, and review of articles addressing cultural considerations, particularly for tribal nations, in suicide prevention. This work was conducted by a third-party contractor.

See the details of the bill and this list of Frequently Asked Questions this list of Frequently Asked Questions.

More resources for schools: