Act 71 Policy Webinar

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This course, delivered by presenters from across the Commonwealth, informs school districts on best practices for creating and/or updating suicide prevention policy.

(1) Erich Batra, MD, FAAP, FACP, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Family and Community Medicine Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Medical Director, Pennsylvania Child Death Review, Executive Board, Prevent Suicide PA
(2) Brenda Becker, EdD, Former Superintendant of Schools, Hempfield School District, PA
(3) Terri Erbacher, Ph.D. School Psychologist, DCIU Clinical Assistant Professor, PCOM
(4) Paula S. McCommons, EdD, Director of Star Center Outreach and Behavioral Health Liaison for Allegheny County Student Assistance Program, Western Psychiatric Institute, and Clinic of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside
(5) Beth Sprentz, Region X Coordinator, Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services (PNSAS)
(6) Matthew Wintersteen, PhD; Thomas Jefferson University; Executive Board, Prevent Suicide PA; Director, Pennsylvania Higher Education Suicide Prevention Coalition

Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will summarize the major facets of Act 71, its nomenclature, and the responsibility of school districts under its guidelines.
  2. Participants will identify the key components of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in schools.
  3. Participants will describe the potential role of Student Assistance Programs in suicide awareness and prevention policies.

Course Length: 75 minutes credit

Course Supplemental Material: For more information on school policies and procedures, including sample templates and postvention resources, please click on these optional supplemental materials.

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). Preventing suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools. Available here.
  2. Kerr, M.M., Brent, D.A., McKain, B., & McCommons, P.S. (2003). Postvention Standards Manual: A Guide for a School’s Response in the Aftermath of a Sudden Death. Available here.
  3. State and National Model Suicide Prevention Policies

Course Online Evaluation: You will be prompted with a link to an online survey at the end of the course.

Course Achievement: No certificate will be available for this course. Completion for this course will, however, show up on the user’s transcript with any other courses that have been completed on the site.

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