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CA Teachers to Get Suicide Prevention Training

Research shows 15 percent of middle and high school students in San Diego County think about committing suicide. A new state law is designed to help more teachers spot the warning signs. KPBS Reporter

CA Teachers to Get Suicide Prevention Training

Research shows 15 percent of middle and high school students in San Diego County think about committing suicide. A new state law is designed to help more teachers spot the warning signs. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more. 

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The law lets public school districts use state funding to train teachers about suicide prevention. For the most part counselors and school nurses are in charge of pinpointing warning signs. 

But more national research shows kids are less likely to turn to counselors and nurses.

Clark Flatt is pushing these measures. His son Jason committed suicide about 10 years ago. Clark says students trust their teachers. 

<b> Flatt: </b> Over 72 percent of them said the first person they would take a friend to was a teacher. And what our fear was, after talking to some teachers, they felt very ill-equipped on knowing what to do or how to react should a young person should be brought to them, let alone identify the warning signs themselves. <br>
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School districts can choose to spend their professional development money on suicide prevention training. Mental health professionals say its a step in the right direction, but worry teachers will do too much. 

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.