Robert Bentley signs Jason Flatt suicide prevention act into law

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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday signed a bill into law that requires educators and others to have training on youth suicide awareness and prevention annually, teaching them how to engage students on the issue.

Sponsored by Tuscaloosa-Republican Sen. Gerald AllenSB11 also known as the Jason Flatt Act, was named after a 16-year-old who killed himself in 1997.

Flatt’s father, Clark Flatt, created the Tennessee-based nonprofit, the Jason Foundation, to raise awareness of youth suicide after his son’s death. Saban began working with the organization while he was the head coach at LSU.

The act’s passage also fulfills one of the goals of the 2016 “Right for Alabama” legislative agenda Senate Republicans laid out in January of this year to expand suicide prevention training. The following paragraph was included in the agenda:

Expand Suicide Awareness Prevention Education Training

Suicide affects youths of every ethnic, economic, and social background. Equipping K-12 teachers with the tools and training to speak with students about suicide prevention will reduce the stigma associated with suicide and the illnesses and emotions that lead to it.

Bentley’s signature make Alabama the 18th state to pass the Jason Flatt Act since 2007.

The law also passed in the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Alabama.

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