The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention just emailed today about a suicide prevention advocacy opportunity in Washington State. Being from the Seattle Area, I’ve taken action and wanted to share with you as well.
WA Representative Tina Orwall has introduced a suicide prevention bill (HB1336) that will be heard in committee this Thursday, February 7.
HB1336 would require certified school nurses, school social workers, and school counselors to complete training in youth suicide screening and referral as a condition of their certification. The bill also contains several other requirements for schools – for example, it would require that school districts adopt a plan for recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students, including indicators of possible substance abuse, violence, and youth suicide, as well as the development of a model school district policy for this plan. Educational service districts would also be required to develop and maintain the capacity to offer training for educators and other school district staff.
Here is the direct link for the bill: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/
HB1336 is scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, February 7th at 8:00 AM in the House Education Committee. The hearing will be in House Hearing Room A in the John L. O’Brien building on the Capitol campus in Olympia.
AFSP is hoping for a strong presence at the hearing! You can help with the following:
- If you would like to attend the hearing in-person and testify, please contact: Susan Zarit, AFSP~WA Chapter, Board Member, Advocacy Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, (360)775-0695 She will work with you and with the national AFSP Public Policy Office to help you draft your testimony.
- For those interested in sharing your story but who are unable to join us in-person, you may be able to submit written testimony for the record. Please let Susan know if this is something you would be interested in.
- For those not interested in testifying, you may also attend the hearing to show your support.
Prior to the hearing, AFSP is asking for support in writing letters to the House Education Committee members, urging their support for the bill. Below are 2 lists. The first is a list of those Committee members that we need to ask for support; the second is a list of those we need to thank for their support.
Please use the attached sample letters for emails/phone calls to these Representatives before 5pm PST this Wednesday 2/6. Today I emailed request for support letters and thank you letters to all of the representatives listed with email addresses. Its not that difficult and could really make an impact.
1. Please send a request for support to the Representatives on the first list below, asking them to support HB 1336. Use the “Request for Support Letter” template, click HERE (and make sure to personalize the portions in brackets [ ] ).
2. Please send a thank you to those Representatives on the second list below, that are already co-sponsoring HB 1336. Use the “Thank You Letter” template, click HERE (and make sure to personalize the portions in brackets [ ] ). **As you will notice, Rep. Orwall’s name is highlighted. She is the one introducing the bill and making all of this possible, so her letter should thank her for “introducing” HB 1336 instead of thanking her for “co-sponsoring” the bill.
After your outreach, please let Susan know who you’ve contacted so the AFSP can keep track of who has received a request/thank you and who hasn’t prior to Thursday’s hearing.
(Ask for Support)
|Magendanz, Chad (R) **||(360) 786-7876|
|Haigh, Kathy (D)||(360) 786-7966||Kathy.email@example.com|
|Hargrove, Mark (R)||(360) 786-7918||Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Hawkins, Brad (R)||(360) 786-7832|
|Hayes, Dave (R)||(360) 786-7914|
|Klippert, Brad (R)||(360) 786-7882||Brad.email@example.com|
|Parker, Kevin (R)||(360) 786-7922||Kevin.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Pike, Liz (R)||(360) 786-7812|
|Seaquist, Larry (D)||(360) 786-7802||Larry.email@example.com|
|Warnick, Judy (R)||(360) 786-7932||Judy.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Representative (Thank for support)||Phone|
|Santos, Sharon Tomiko (D) Chair||(360) 786-7944||Sharontomiko.email@example.com|
|Stonier, Monica (D) Vice Chair||(360) 786-7994|
|Orwall, Tina (D) (Primary Sponsor)||(360) 786-7834||Tina.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dahlquist, Cathy (R) *||(360) 786-7846||Cathy.email@example.com|
|Bergquist, Steve (D)||(360) 786-7862|
|Fagan, Susan (R)||(360) 786-7942||Susan.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Hunt, Sam (D)||(360) 786-7992||Sam.email@example.com|
|Lytton, Kristine (D)||(360) 786-7800||Kristine.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Maxwell, Marcie (D)||(360) 786-7894||Marcie.email@example.com|
|McCoy, John (D)||(360) 786-7864||John.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Pollet, Gerry (D)||(360) 786-7886||Gerry.email@example.com|
Thank you for your help!