Friday, March 21, 2014

Action Alert: Suicide Prevention Bill for Schools

House Bill (HB) 1559 is still awaiting action by the Pennsylvania House. We are asking for your help to move this bill forward. The fate of HB 1559 may be decided this week, and we therefore ask that you respond to this alert as soon as you possibly can.

If adopted into law as currently worded, HB 1559 would require schools to adopt youth suicide awareness and prevention policies that include methods of prevention (including a requirement for four hours of training every five years for professional educators serving students in grades 6 - 12), intervention and postvention, reporting procedures, and local resources and contacts.

The Senate passed the bill on Feb. 4 unanimously.

Please email or call House leader Rep. Turzai (listed below) to request that he send HB 1559 to the House floor for a concurrent vote, with NO changes or amendments, as soon as possible!

Rep. Mike Turzai
(717) 772-9943

Your email or phone call can be worded like the following template. Make sure to personalize it, especially the wording in brackets.

Dear Rep. Turzai,

I am a resident of {city/town name}, asking that you please send House Bill 1559 to the floor for a concurrent vote as soon as possible with no changes or amendments. HB 1559 is extremely important to me because {insert your connection to suicide here}.

In Pennsylvania, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 10-19. While some of these suicides occur without any outward warning, most young people who are suicidal do give warnings. Our schools have an important role to play in recognizing these signs and knowing what to do to support students at-risk and their families.  

If passed, I am confident HB 1559 will help save young lives. I am a NAMI family member, and I vote. Thank you for your consideration.

{Your Name}

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