Teen Suicide Prevention

Appropriates $50,000 to provide additional statewide community-
based gatekeeper training in five high schools for 35
participants each.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           842
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  In Hawaii, suicide is the second leading cause
 2 of death in the fifteen to twenty-four-year-old age group.
 3 Targeted populations include youth who also fall into the
 4 category of diverse populations such as native Hawaiians, gay,
 5 lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender persons.
 6      According to the 1997 "Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey" of
 7 ninth to twelfth graders, approximately twenty-seven per cent
 8 have seriously considered suicide, twenty per cent have made
 9 suicide plans, and eleven and one-half per cent had made a
10 suicide attempt in the twelve-month period.  And, an alarming
11 number of tenth grade females who seriously considered suicide
12 during those twelve months increased to forty per cent.
13      According to the 1997 "Middle School Survey" of sixth to
14 eighth graders, twenty-nine per cent have thought seriously of
15 killing themselves, seventeen per cent have made plans to kill
16 themselves, and twelve per cent had made a suicide attempt in the
17 twelve-month period.  Middle schoolers also reported that they
18 would first go for help to their peers for the following
19 problems: thirty-five per cent if they were feeling sad or

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                                     S.B. NO.           842

 1 depressed, thirty-one per cent if they were feeling angry or out
 2 of control, and forty-six per cent if they had a relationship
 3 problem with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
 4      The legislature finds that while suicide is a complex public
 5 health issue, it is preventable.  The First National Suicide
 6 Prevention Conference was held in October 1998, where a National
 7 Strategy for Suicide Prevention was developed, and includes
 8 recommendations such as more public education, including media
 9 education; developing school-based programs for proactive skill
10 development beginning in early childhood and continuing through
11 adolescence, including coping skills, anger management, problem-
12 solving, conflict resolution, and promotion of resiliency and
13 protective factors; training for administrators, teachers, school
14 staff and others; improving linkages between schools and mental
15 health services for all students; incorporating suicide
16 prevention in a comprehensive health curriculum for all students;
17 and preventing suicide and suicide attempts among Native
18 American/Hawaiian youth by increasing access to culturally
19 sensitive information and referral services by trained
20 gatekeepers.
21      The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds to provide
22 additional statewide community-based gatekeeper training based on
23 many of the recommendations of the National Strategy for Suicide

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                                     S.B. NO.           842

 1 Prevention and to cooperatively plan and develop Hawaii's
 2 strategy for teen suicide prevention.  Hawaii's gatekeepers
 3 training will clarify definitions and define roles, identify risk
 4 factors, assess and promote prevention strategies, provide family
 5 group support and a sense of community, demonstrate the spiritual
 6 component with emphasis on cultural diversity, and address the
 7 referral process and necessary procedures.
 8      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
 9 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $50,000 or so much
10 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000 to provide
11 additional statewide community-based gatekeeper training for teen
12 suicide prevention and intervention in five high schools for
13 thirty-five participants each.
14      SECTION 3.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
15 department of health for the purposes of this Act. 
16      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
18                              INTRODUCED BY: _____________________