Suicide Prevention, Violence Prevention, Social Inclusion and School Safety Requirements

Requirements for Ohio Schools

Ohio's Comprehensive School Safety Framework outlines the importance of addressing emotional and physical safety of students and staff to create safe and supportive learning environments. 

Schools are required to implement certain strategies to promote school safety. These include student instruction in specific health education topics, anonymous reporting systems, threat assessment teams, emergency management plans, and staff training. 

Schools and districts should review their current policies, procedures, and practices to ensure they align with requirements in Ohio law. 

Click a link below for more information on:

Prescribed Curriculum for Health Education 

Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, Ohio law requires schools to provide health education instruction in suicide prevention, violence prevention, and social inclusion.  

  • Students in grades 6 through 12 to receive at least one hour or one standard class period per school year of evidence-based instruction in suicide awareness and prevention;
  • Students in grades 6 through 12 to receive at least one hour or one standard class period per school year of instruction in safety training and violence prevention; and
  • Students in grades 6 through 12 to receive at least one hour or one standard class period per school year of evidence-based instruction in social inclusion.

Schools are required to use an approved, evidence-based program to meet these requirements. Instruction is to occur annually for students in grades 6 through 12. If health education is not offered annually for each grade, the instruction may be provided in another subject. By written request of the student's parent or guardian, a student shall be excused from taking instruction in these topics.

This video provides an overview of the prevention education requirements.


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Approved, Evidence-Based Programs in Suicide Prevention, Violence Prevention and Social Inclusion

Suicide awareness and prevention, violence prevention, and social inclusion programs that are evidence-based are reviewed by the Ohio Departments of Education and Workforce, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Public Safety to determine if the program meets all legislative requirements. 

To submit an evidence-based suicide prevention, violence prevention or social inclusion program for review, follow the steps listed on the Prevention Program Submission web page.

Suicide Awareness and Prevention and Violence Prevention

Ohio law requires evidence-based programs in suicide awareness and prevention and violence prevention to address the following:

  • How to instruct school personnel to identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide and self-harm in students;
  • How to instruct students to identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide and self-harm in their peers;
  • How to identify appropriate mental health services within schools and larger communities and when and how to refer youth and their families to those services;
  • How to teach students about mental health and depression, warning signs of suicide and the importance of and processes for seeking help on behalf of self and peers and reporting of these behaviors;
  • How to identify observable warning signs and signals of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others; and
  • The importance of taking threats seriously and seeking help.
  • How students can report dangerous, violent, threatening, harmful, or potentially harmful activity, including the use of the district's chosen anonymous reporting program.

Approved Suicide Awareness and Prevention and Violence Prevention Programs 

Adapt for Life
  • There are no cost options available for this program. 
Ending the Silence
  • There are no cost options available for this program. 
  • Contact NAMI Ohio for more information on training for students and staff. 

Erika’s Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression

  • There are no cost options available for this program. 
Hope Squad
  • There are costs associated with this program.
  • Implementation must include use of the school-wide Mental Health and Safety Tier 1 Lesson.

Lifelines Prevention: Building Knowledge and Skills to Prevent Suicide

  • There are costs associated with this program.

Sandy Hook Promise Say Something  

  • There are no cost options available for this program.
  • Both Say Something and Say Something: Prevent Suicide must be provided to meet the requirements.

Signs of Suicide (SOS)

  • There are costs associated with this program.

Sources of Strength (Sources) - Secondary Program

Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA)

  • There are costs associated with this program.

Social Inclusion

Ohio law requires evidence-based programs in social inclusion to address the following:
  • What social isolation is and how to identify it in others;
  • What social inclusion is and the importance of establishing connections with peers;
  • When and how to seek help for peers who may be socially isolated; and
  • How to utilize strategies for more social inclusion in classrooms and the school

Approved Social Inclusion Programs

CharacterStrong
  • There are costs associated with this training.
Leader in Me
  • There are costs associated with this training.

Start With Hello

  • Schools can register themselves on the program's web page to access program materials at no cost.

Botvin LifeSkills Training 

  • There are costs associated with this training.

7 Mindsets

  • There are costs associated with this training.


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Student-led Violence Prevention Clubs

Each local, city, exempted village and joint vocational school district, community school, and college-preparatory boarding school may designate a student-led violence prevention club for each school building in the district or school serving grades  6 through 12. 

If schools choose to have a violence prevention club, Ohio law requires the club to:

  • Be open to all members of the student body;
  • Have at least one identified adult advisor;
  • Implement and sustain suicide and violence prevention and social inclusion training and awareness activities; and
  • Foster opportunities for student leadership development.

The following resources may assist schools interested in developing a student-led violence prevention club:


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Anonymous Reporting Systems

Ohio law requires each local, city, exempted village, and joint vocational school district to register with the Safer Ohio School Tip Line or enter into an agreement with an anonymous reporting program of the district's choosing. Districts are required to report on disciplinary actions and mental wellness referrals resulting from anonymous tips at the end of each school year.

For more information on the Safer Ohio School Tip Line and reporting requirements, visit the Ohio School Safety Center’s website.


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Threat Assessment Teams and Training

Each local, city, exempted village, and joint vocational school district must have a threat assessment team for each school building in the district serving grades  6 through 12. Ohio law states that upon appointment and once every three years thereafter, each team member must complete an approved threat assessment training program. Each team must be multidisciplinary, when possible, and may include school administrators, mental health professionals, school resource officers and other necessary personnel.

The list of approved, evidence-based threat assessment trainings is available on the Ohio School Safety Center’s website.

Model Threat Assessment Plan

In accordance with Ohio law, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, in consultation with the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, and Attorney General’s Office, developed a model threat assessment plan that may be used  to develop a building's emergency management plan.


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Emergency Management Plans

Ohio law moved school emergency management plan rule making authority to the Director of Public Safety. The Ohio School Safety Center's website provides information on emergency management plans.


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In-Service Training

Ohio law  requires public schools, educational service centerscommunity schools and STEM schools to provide in-service training to educate school personnel on a variety of topics.

In-service training must incorporate content training in youth suicide awareness and prevention for each person employed  as a nurse, teacher, counselor, school psychologist, or administrator and any other personnel that the board determines appropriate.

  • Each such person to undergo training in youth suicide awareness and prevention programs once every two years. 


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Helplines and Resources

Schools should create a comprehensive suicide prevention plan. This should include prevention, intervention and postvention strategies. School staff should be prepared to recognize and respond to the warning signs of suicide. If a student is expressing signs of suicide, staff should follow their school's established protocols. 

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services provides a list of signs of suicide and steps to intervene.

Helplines

  • The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or 988, provides free and confidential support for people in distress. Call or text 988 to receive crisis resources and support.
  • The Ohio CareLine is an emotional support call service created by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services that offers confidential support in times of crisis. Call 1-800-720-9616 to connect.
  • The Ohio Crisis Text Line is a free, confidential service available via text on mobile devices. Text the keyword “4hope” to 741 741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor.
  • The Safer Ohio School Tip Line is an anonymous reporting system for students and adults to anonymously share information with school officials and law enforcement about threats to student safety. Download the app, use the website, or call or text 844-723-3764 to report a tip.

Last Modified: 6/6/2024 10:26:29 AM