2.1 Policies & Laws


The first P is for Policies and Laws. Policies and laws should be looked at on the national, state, and school levels. What does your state require when it pertains to suicide prevention? includes information for the Texas State Plan for Suicide Prevention in Texas, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP), and the State Statutes Related to Suicide. The requirements outlined in these documents can help to identify what measures need to be taken, as well as help to evaluate existing policies that a school has in place. It is important to be aware of what is required and how your school or district plan to satisfy those requirements.

    Facilitated Discussion Instructions
  1. Review and access the recommended and additional resources for this section (listed below).
  2. Complete the section Worksheet:

Worksheet 1: Policies & Laws

Recommended Resources for Discussing ‘Policies & Laws’

The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention outlines a national strategy to guide suicide prevention actions in the download below.
Goals and Objectives for Action

The Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention provides an example of a best-practice district policy for suicide prevention that can be used as a model.
Model School District Policy

The Texas State Plan for Suicide Prevention explains the state’s intentions to expand suicide prevention and assists schools in being “ahead of the game” with suicide prevention.
Guidelines for Suicide Prevention in Texas

The following contains specific state laws with which schools are required to comply.
Texas Statutes Regarding Suicide

This section of “Texas Suicide Safer Schools Implementation Guide and Tools” provides key recommendations on what should be included in a suicide prevention policy. Also provides recommendations specific to Texas requirements.
Policy & Leadership Implementation Guide

    Additional Resources to Help with ‘Policies & Laws’

  • The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention outlines special populations that are at increased risk for suicide with approaches on how to focus on them in the download below.
    Groups with Increased Suicide Risk
  • “Dealing with Suicide in Schools: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention” serves as a model protocol.
    Dealing with Suicide in Schools
  • If a school has created their own suicide prevention program, the following are guidelines that must be followed. They are based on criteria developed by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for applicants submitting suicide prevention programs and practices for possible inclusion in the Best Practices Registry.
    TEA Guidelines for Independent Review of Suicide Prevention Training Materials (HB 2186)
  • The information below is from the “Texas Suicide Safer Schools Implementation Guide and Tools”. Appendix I, Tools 1 and 3 provide samples of safe media statements and messaging for media spokespersons.
    TxSSS Implementation Guide (Appendices)