PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A bill that would require suicide prevention training is inching its way through the state Legislature, but some teachers say they're worried about how it will be funded.

"It is something that I think honestly all teachers would really want, but the issue is always with, what is going to be the quality of that training and will that training be funded?" Amber Gould, a high school English teacher, said.

[WATCH: Teachers concerned about suicide prevention training bill]

State Sen. Sean Bowie, D-Ahwatukee, who wrote the bill, said there is no funding for the it because the training will not cost any money. 

Bowie said the training will also be required once every three years and would go towards their professional development hours, which teachers already must meet.

Gould worries that whatever training is provided won't be sufficient.

"The more I work with students, the more I realize this is going to be an ongoing concern with our youth and they need our help, but that also means they need the appropriate-level service," Gould explained. "I don't know if I would be ready to take it on, and that's why we have the social workers. That's why we have the counselors. We just need more of them and we need to be able to fund things like this appropriately."

There are at least 26 states that already require this training for all school personnel.

[RELATED: Parents push for Senate bill that would require suicide prevention training in schools]

"It shows us what to watch out for; watch students that might be at risk and try to get them help before it reaches a critical point," said Sharon Devine, a middle school teacher in New Jersey.

Devine has taken the training every year since 2015 and says it's already benefited her and her students.

"I had friends come to me and say they were concerned that a friend of theirs was going to hurt themselves and I knew exactly what the procedure was, the protocol," Devine explained. "It's on us whether we want it or not. I'd rather be trained and know how to effectively deal with it, and it's also our legal responsibility."

Gould agrees that she wants to help her students in any way, but thinks there should also be funding for more counselors and social workers.

"Our student-to-counselor ratio is atrocious. We're one of the lowest ranked states for the highest amount of student-to-counselor ratio," Gould said. "If this is something that will move forward then it needs to be funded appropriately."

Senate Bill 1468, also known as the Mitch Warnock Act, will be voted on by the House Rules Committee on Monday.

 


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(3) comments

Tin-Foil-Hat

I knew two people who've committed suicide. I was blindsided. When people really want to commit suicide they're very good at hiding it. I think the intention is good but I wouldn't want anybody held responsible for not identifying suicidal students after this training. Hindsight is 20 20. Unless someone tells you, you won't know for sure. After every tragic event there's a lot of finger pointing and lawsuits because "they should have known".

Dean

Are these the same teachers who want to teach that homosexuality is perfectly normal.

Tin-Foil-Hat

What does "normal" mean? It is natural, not a disorderand there's a lot of research to back that up.

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