Texas Suicide Prevention


Welcome to the Texas Department of State Health Services Suicide Prevention Homepage. We hope you will find information of use and interest to you and those you serve. If you have any questions or comments, we welcome your thoughts: mhsa@dshs.state.tx.us

If you or someone you know need help, please call one of the crisis numbers below:

Table for crisis hotlines

Crisis Hotlines

Spotlight: Smartphone Applications

The world’s first suicide prevention App for Smartphones was developed right here in Texas. Learn More or Download for Free »

Spotlight: Help in Texas

Our Assistant Commissioner and Suicide Prevention Coordinator talk about how to get help in Texas in this video: “Suicide Prevention Resources in Texas: Where to go if You or a Family Member Needs Help

Texas Suicide Prevention Plan

Best Practices Registry 

Pursuant to HB1386 of the 82nd Legislative Regular Session, which amended Section 161.325 of the Health and Safety Code, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is required to annually post a list of best practice based trainings in suicide prevention for Texas public school staff grades K-12. An implementation workgroup was formed and determined it acceptable  to use any school appropriate training on the national Best Practice Registry of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). The list was provided on the DSHS website together with a link to the best practice registry. HB1386 also required independent school districts to have a District Improvement Plan that includes suicide prevention.  A one-time report was written about the implementation of HB1386, per the mandate, and was submitted to the Texas Legislature.

SB 831 of the 83rd Regular Legislative Session, also amended Section 161.325 of the Health and Safety Code to include a list of best practice based programs to be reviewed and posted annually on the websites of DSHS, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and each regional education service center (ESC). This legislation also expanded the list to include programs in the following areas:

(1)  early mental health intervention; (these programs are  found on the National Registry of Evidence Based Programs Practices (NREPP)).

(2)  mental health promotion and positive youth development; (these programs are found on NREPP website).

(3)  substance abuse prevention; (these programs are  found on the NREPP website).

(4)  substance abuse intervention; (these programs are  found on the NREPP website).

(5)  suicide prevention;  (these programs are found on the SPRC Best Practice Registry or NREPP). Best practice based programs recommended for training teachers and school personnel working with grades K-12 in Texas include such programs/ trainings as:

            a. ASK about Suicide to Save a Life Gatekeeper Training

            b. At-Risk one hour online training for Elementary, Middle School, and High School educators

            c. Question Persuade and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Training

            c. Counseling on Access to Lethal Means training for school medical staff and counselors

            d. Jason Foundation School Based Curriculum

            e. SafeTALK 4 hour gatekeeper training

            f. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is a two day intensive intervention training

            e. American Indian Life Skills Development/Zuni Life Skills Development (NREPP)

            f. LEADS for Youth, Linking Education and Depression for Depression and Suicide (NREPP)

            g. Lifelines Curriculum (NREPP)

            h. Model Adolescent Suicide Prevention Program (NREPP)

            i. Reconnecting Youth: A Peer Group Approach to Building Life Skills (NREPP)

            j. SOS Signs of Suicide (NREPP)

            k. Sources of Strength (NREPP) 

 For more best practice programs in suicide prevention please refer to: National Registry of Evidence Based Programs Practices (NREPP) and Best Practice Registry of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

The following information is provided for clarification regarding SB460 of the 83rd Legislative Regular Session.  This legislation also amended Health and Safety Code 161.325 and Texas Education Code 21.044 with regards specifically to current teachers and educators in training.  TEA and DSHS have collaborated and agree on the following statement:

SB 460, which was passed during the 83rd Legislature, requires training for public school teachers and teachers in training, counselors, principals, and all other appropriate staff in the detection and education of students at risk for suicide or with other mental or emotional disorders.

Programs that would meet the SB 460 training requirement for school personnel [Health and Safety Code 161.325 (b)] are listed above in the section regarding SB831.  Specific programs that have been used in Texas that are acceptable include such programs as ASK about Suicide to Save a Life gatekeeper training, At-Risk for Elementary, Middle School, and High School; and Mental Health First Aid.

Please review all the programs listed above thoughtfully in considering the specific needs of your school district. These examples are not meant to be an exhaustive list. Please note that TEA will have an additional requirement for teachers in training to also complete a positive behavior and support for classroom management module that will be available free on one of the ESC webpages.

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Last updated March 30, 2015