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2 Virginia Law address Mental Health and Bullying, in Virginia

The new law requires school counselors to be trained to recognize mental health disorders and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse. It was sponsored by Sen. Jeremy McPike, a Democrat representing Dale City and Manassas.

The law was inspired by 17-year-old David Cobb, who was a student at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas. David’s mother, Kimberly Fleming, said that David spoke to a counselor who did not realize the extent of David’s problem. He killed himself after being released from school. “Always knew how to make mama laugh. I miss him. I miss him very much,” Fleming said.

The counseling law is similar to a Maryland law inspired by the death of Lauryn Santiago, McPike said.

McPike met Santiago’s mother at a suicide prevention walk last year when they shared how they both lost someone. McPike lost a brother; she lost a child who was bullied. They discussed how they might improve counseling efforts.

“There’s a whole network of parents and family members who have lost a loved one who say, ‘We don’t want this ever to happen again — we have to step up,'” McPike said.

Mom turns grief into action to help others prevent youth suicide WBALTV


An increasing number of young people are taking their own lives. The 11 News I-Team talks to the experts and a mother who turned her grief into action.


Every moment, Linda Diaz lives with an anguish that seems impossible to bear.


LearnSafe is easy to use and actionable. With over a decade of use and continuous input from experts, you can trust LearnSafe to help build a safe, supportive learning environment. LearnSafe gives you the time and information you need to focus on providing the individualized, positive intervention and support necessary to keep all students and staff members safe.

Maryland State Bord of Edcuation Suicide Prevention Training

Published PDF for Code of Maryland Regulations 13A.07.11

Maryland State Board of Education School Counselor

Published PDF for Code of Maryland Regulations 13A.12.03.02 

Prince George's Suite

When Lauryn Santiago’s grades started to slip two years ago, her mother, Linda Diaz, suspected something was wrong. Diaz called her daughter’s high school and asked the counselor to meet with Lauryn. But the meeting never happened...

Lauryn's Law passed in the Maryland House and Senate Friday. The law is named for Lauryn Santiago, a 15-year-old Prince George's County teen who took her own life. Santiago's mother told News4 that Lauryn was bullied and depressed...

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Press Release on HB0947 Lauryn's Law

Press Release on the passage of the HB0947 Lauryn's Law from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention

As of July 1, 2016, school counselors seeking certification or renewal in Maryland will be required to have the skills to understand and respond to indicators of mental illness and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse, as well as to identify resources to help students in crisis...

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