Advocates arrive in Boise on Wednesday to encourage their legislative leaders to pass, "Empowering Schools in Suicide Prevention."

Idaho ranks 48 for assistance funding mental health programs and suicide prevention opportunities. Fund programs like these are imperative considering Idaho ranks 2nd in leading causes of death for ages 10-44.

Wednesday could be a very important piece when trying to erase those high numbers. Advocates arrive to spread the message to leaders that we should start saving lives in our schools first. Teachers and friends spend the majority of time with your kids when you really think about it. We need to wrap our arms around the school system to set up a foundation for help before it's out of control.

Changing policy is the first step! Advocates will meet Wednesday to...

  • Share why suicide prevention is important to Idahoans.
  • Educate regarding the work already being done to prevent suicide.
  • Teach legislators to support "Empowering Schools in Suicide Prevention" legislation, based on model legislation known as the Jason Flatt Act.

In 2007, The Jason Flatt Act was first passed in Tennessee and became the nation’s most inclusive and mandatory youth suicide awareness and prevention legislation pertaining to Teacher’s In-Service Training. It required all educators in the state to complete 2 hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention training each year in order to be able to be licensed to teach in Tennessee. There have been 19 states to adopt the JFA since 2007 with some 42 other states to include some sort of training.


The first step to understanding mental health and how to identify this epidemic is training. The Jason Flatt Act would help schools identify students at risk and refer students at risk to a mental health professional for assessment and evaluation.

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition says this life-saving legislation would make a major impact statewide.

The Treasure Valley has seen suicide too many times over the past few years. It was just last year that a student took his life during our annual child abuse prevention campaign. We've had more than enough death in our state lately and something has to change. Want to attend?

Idaho State Capitol Rotunda, 700 W. Jefferson St, Boise, Idaho 83702.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.