Safe Schools

Suicide Prevention and Awareness

Published: 8/23/2019 10:32 AM

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults in Kentucky. According to the Kentucky Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 15 percent of Kentucky high school students (1 in 7) reported having seriously considered suicide within a 12-month period. In addition, 17.4 percent of Kentucky middle school students (nearly 1 in 5) reported that they had seriously considered killing themselves at some point in their lives. However, experts say that suicide can be preventable. When educators, students and communities learn warning signs and how to take action when a young person might be at risk of a suicidal crisis, lives can be saved.

SB 1 (2019) - Suicide Prevention Education for Middle and High School Staff

SB 1 (2019) amends KRS 156.095 to require all school district employees with job duties requiring direct contact with students in grades six (6) through twelve (12) to fulfill one hour of high-quality (in-person, live streaming, or video recording) professional development training every other year to review suicide prevention. In years that training is not provided, new hires shall be provided suicide prevention materials for review. This training may be included in the four days of professional development under KRS 158.070.  KRS 161.011  permits suicide prevention training for classified employees.

SB 1 (2019) - Suicide Prevention Information for Middle and High School Students

SB 1 (2019) amends KRS 156.095 to require that every public school shall provide suicide prevention awareness information in person, by live streaming, or via a video recording information to all students in grades six (6) through twelve (12) by September 15th of each year. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services posts suicide prevention awareness and training information on its webpage. 

Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities

In response to Kentucky legislation regarding suicide prevention training and awareness for middle school and high school staff and students, the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities has prepared information about programs, training and materials.

Suicide Prevention Training and Resources for Educators

Training for Educators, Staff and Communities

Programs for Middle and High School Students

Resources for Schools

Resources for Teens 

Youth Mental Health First Aid

As part of the Kentucky AWARE Project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services SAMHSA NITT-AWARE grant, the Kentucky Department of Education is currently providing Youth Mental Health First Aid Training. Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This evidence-based 6-hour certification course gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to adolescents (ages 12-18) who may be in crisis or developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. Kentucky Department of Education is able to offer the course for free to school and community groups.


Rae Burgess
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of Student Success
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601           
(502) 564-4772
Fax (502) 564-7820
rae.burgess@education.ky.gov

Doug Roberts
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of Student Success
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601           
(502) 564-4772
Fax (502) 564-7820
doug.roberts@education.ky.gov


Suicide Prevention LifeLine
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