Gaps Remain in U.S. State Policies on Suicide Prevention Training

May 25, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


A recent study found that most U.S. states do not require suicide prevention training for health care professionals, and those that do vary considerably in the content and scope of their requirements. As of 2017, 10 states had policies mandating suicide prevention training for behavioral health care professionals. Three of those states also had training requirements for other types of health care professionals, such as nurses and physicians. The study also found that all 50 states had developed a suicide prevention plan as of 2017, and 43 had updated theirs since 2012. The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention recommends that all states adopt policies to ensure health care providers are skilled in suicide prevention and have comprehensive plans for addressing suicide. “Our hope is that by providing a snapshot of the current state of suicide prevention policies across the nation, it will hopefully encourage other states to consider developing policies of this nature and will promote a greater consistency of training of providers,” said Jessica Mackelprang, study coauthor and psychology lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Spark Extra! Read the study abstract.