Act 71 Suicide Awareness

Act 71 training is now available as an asynchronous/self-paced 8-part course (30 minutes each) on the Prevent Suicide PA website. The courses are free.

To take the courses, you’ll need to establish a user account and click on the “Suicide Prevention for Educators Courses.” The website captures a transcript of courses completed and the date they were successfully completed. You can print that transcript by clicking on “My Profile” and provide it to your district as proof of completion.

Course Description: Suicide Prevention for Educators

This 8-part course consists of 30-minute modules that meet the requirements of Act 71 of 2014, requiring a minimum of four hours of training on suicide prevention every five years. These series were developed in collaboration with the Deleware County Intermediate Unit. Each class consists of a pre-quiz, video training module, and post-quiz. Additionally, when you complete all eight classes, you may print a certificate indicating the number of training hours completed to submit to your school administrator.

Understanding Youth Suicide and Prevention (Act 71)

As of the 2015-2016 school year, districts are required to provide professional development to educators and staff of students grade 6-12 regarding suicide prevention. For each suicide death among young people, there may be as many as 100–200 suicide attempts (McIntosh, 2010). Approximately one out of every 15 high school students attempts suicide each year (CDC, 2010a).

In this learning path, participants will review the prevalence of suicide, risk factors, warning signs, school-related epidemiology, protective factors, and prevention. Participants will be able to complete the four hours of suicide prevention training to meet the requirements set forth in Act 71 of 2014. This law requires school entities to: (1) adopt a youth suicide awareness and prevention policy; and (2) provide ongoing professional development in youth suicide awareness and prevention for professional educators in buildings serving students in grades 6-12.


Discuss the prevalence of suicide and why it occurs; Review the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Plan; Review possible links to bullying, substance abuse, and sexual orientation; Inventory school policies and resources in your area; Identify and distinguish between risk factors, protective factors, and warning signs; and Recognize resources that can provide support to students at risk for suicide.