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Cultural Humility Needed in Suicide Prevention Bill

Des Moines (February 8th, 2018)- This morning, the education subcommittee met regarding HF 2176, the suicide prevention bill for Iowa educators. This bill mandates professional educators in Iowa to receive suicide prevention and trauma-informed training.  Iowa Safe Schools Executive Director, Nate Monson, who is available for interviews, released the following statement.

“I appreciate the spirit and intent of this bill, however in its current form it does not address the underlying microaggressions facing adverse populations. This bill offers a one pillar solution while additional pillars are needed to effectively address and combat suicide rates in Iowa.” Monson said, “cultural humility must be a focal point any time we discuss trainings and strategy. We can provide as much training on prevention and trauma-informed care as we want, but until we have a comprehensive prevention plan which focuses on marginalized populations, microaggressions, and triggers, we are only putting a band aid on very serious wound.”

According to the Trevor Project’s research on suicide prevention (2017), each episode of LGBTQ victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average. Additionally, LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth. Monson added, “These troubling statistics are completely preventable. Comprehensive means we take an inclusive approach, starting with shifting the cultural of our schools and communities.”

About Iowa Safe Schools

Iowa Safe Schools is Iowa’s leading LGBTQ statewide organization and provides safe, supportive, and nurturing learning environments and communities for LGBTQ youth through education, outreach, and advocacy.