Barclay: Education May Help Prevent Suicide

Assemblyman sponsors bill to require high schools to teach suicide prevention

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) today announced that he has recently signed onto legislation that, if passed, will require high schools to teach suicide prevention. The bill would require the New York State Commissioner of Education to provide curriculum for health educators to teach about suicide and some of the red flags common among those who may have suicidal tendencies.

“I know many of our schools do focus on teaching healthy lifestyles, however, our state curriculum does not specifically require that schools teach about suicide and some of its triggers, such as depression,” said Barclay. “It is important that schools have this curriculum in place so that students can discuss and learn about this topic in the school setting, in a constructive way. I hope, if this legislation passes, we can begin an important discussion in our middle and high schools that may prevent someone from harming themselves.”

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), surpassed only by accidents and homicide.

“If more people know the warning signs, including friends and peers, perhaps a tragedy of a classmate can be averted,” said Barclay. The bill, A4291, is currently in the Assembly’s Education Committee.