Although legislation passed previously, (ESHB 1336) increased the capacity of school districts and staff to recognize and respond to youth displaying emotional or behavioral distress, HB 1862 adds to this by providing monthly professional development opportunities to school counselors, social workers, and psychologists at first-class school districts. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year ,training for a minimum of one hour will focus on
- recognizing signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students, such as suicide or substance abuse; and
- school districts with mental health centers in their area must collaborate with licensed mental health service providers in person, or via telephone if out of the area.
Second-class school districts are encouraged, but not required, to collaborate and provide professional development opportunities.
This act does not create any civil liability on the part of the state or any state agency, officer, employee, agent, political subdivision, or school district.