University of Washington
Need help now?  Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255
Need Help Now? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 1.800.273.8255

Past Legislative Sessions

Past Legislative Sessions

2016 Legislative Session

Nearly 70% of the suicide deaths in Washington are by firearm or poison, such as prescription drugs. This bill establishes a Suicide Safer Homes Task Force in partnership with pharmacists and firearm dealers, individuals in key positions to raise public awareness about suicide and the need for safe storage and medication disposal.  It will result in:

  • Prevention trainings for firearm retailers and pharmacists, and educational materials on suicide prevention for customers at the point of sale;
  • Suicide prevention information in firearm safety pamphlets and firearm safety trainings;
  • Testing the effectiveness of combining of suicide prevention training with the distribution of safe storage devices and medication disposal kits in two communities with high suicide rates.

2015 Legislative Session

  • HB 1138 Creating a task force on mental health and suicide prevention in higher education
    Summary:  As a result of this law, the Task Force on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in Higher Education is gathering data about suicide prevention efforts and the amount of suicidal behavior on campuses, preparatory to recommending more comprehensive ways to keep students safer from suicide.
  • HB 1424 Concerning training health professionals in suicide assessment, management and treatment
    Summary: This law ensures that all suicide prevention training for health care professionals will cover issues specific to military veterans, and skills to assess suicidal individuals access to lethal means.

2014 Legislative Session

  • 2315 Concerning training health care professionals in suicide assessment, management and treatment
    Summary: In 2012, a law was passed that requires mental health professionals to have training in the assessment, management and treatment of suicide as a condition of having a license to practice. 2315 extends the training requirement to health care professionals. This law is critical because more than half of all individuals who die by suicide visit their primary care physicians less than a month before taking their own lives. 2315 also tasks Washington’s Department of Health develop a state plan to reduce lives lost to suicide across age groups. Washington has a youth suicide prevention plan that is not sufficient since it does not address the fact that middle-aged men, American Indian/Alaska Native residents, and veterans of the US armed forces die by suicide at the highest rates and in the largest numbers.

2013 Legislative Session

  • 1336 Increasing the capacity of school districts to recognize and respond to youth at-risk for suicide
    ​Summary: This law increases the capacity of schools to recognize and respond to troubled youth and to build awareness for students who may be struggling with mental health issues that may lead to attempted suicide. The law requires:
    • New certification training requirements for school counselors, social workers and psychologists to provide suicide screening and referral
    • Training teachers to recognize and respond emotional or behavioral distress in students,
    • Schools have a model plan for recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students, including but not limited to indicators of substance abuse, violence, and youth suicide.
    • School districts to form partnerships with qualified health, mental health and social services agencies – four meetings
    • Training 32 trainers on the principles of Mental Health First Aid.

2012 Legislative Session

  • 2366 Concerning training mental health professionals in suicide assessment, management and treatment
    Summary: Washington State passed ESHB 2366, otherwise known as the Matt Adler Suicide Assessment, Treatment, and Management Act of 2012. ESHB 2366 is a significant legislative achievement as it is the first law in the country to require certain health professionals to obtain continuing education in the assessment, treatment, and management of suicide risk as a requirement to obtain and maintain licensure.