Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 11. Suicide Prevention Program

Suicide Prevention Officer -- Duties

53-21-1101. Suicide prevention officer -- duties. (1) The department shall implement a suicide prevention program administered by a suicide prevention officer attached to the division responsible for administering adult mental health services. The program must be informed by the best available evidence.

(2) The suicide prevention officer shall:

(a) coordinate all suicide prevention activities being conducted for both children and adults by all divisions within the department and coordinate with any suicide prevention activities that are conducted by other state agencies, including the office of the superintendent of public instruction, the department of corrections, the department of military affairs, the university system, and other stakeholders;

(b) develop a biennial suicide reduction plan in accordance with 53-21-1102 that addresses reducing suicides by Montanans of all ages, ethnic groups, and occupations;

(c) request from the prescription drug registry provided for in 37-7-1502 a list of all controlled substances dispensed to each person whose death was ruled to be a suicide;

(d) report to the legislature annually, in accordance with 5-11-210 and subsection (3) of this section, on the toxicology information submitted by county coroners and the prescription drug registry information regarding the medications prescribed to individuals whose manner of death was ruled to be a suicide; and

(e) direct a statewide suicide prevention program with activities based on the best available evidence that include but are not limited to:

(i) conducting statewide communication campaigns aimed at normalizing the need for all Montanans to address their mental health and utilizing both paid and free media, including digital and social media, and including input from government agencies, school representatives from elementary schools through higher education, mental health advocacy groups, veteran groups, and other relevant nonprofit organizations;

(ii) initiating, in partnership with Montana's tribes and tribal organizations, communication and training that is culturally appropriate and utilizes the modalities best suited for Indian country;

(iii) seeking opportunities for research that will improve understanding of suicide in Montana and provide increased suicide-related services;

(iv) training for medical professionals, military personnel, school personnel, social service providers, and the general public on recognizing the early warning signs of suicidality, depression, and other mental illnesses as well as actions, based on the best available evidence, to take during and after a crisis;

(v) identifying and using available resources, which may include providing grants to entities, including but not limited to tribes, tribal and urban health organizations, local governments, schools, health care providers, professional associations, and other nonprofit and community organizations, for development or expansion of evidence-based suicide prevention programs in accordance with the requirements of 53-21-1111;

(vi) building a multifaceted, lifespan approach to suicide prevention; and

(vii) obtaining, analyzing, and reporting program evaluation data, quality health outcomes, and suicide morbidity and mortality data, subject to existing confidentiality protections for the data.

(3) The suicide prevention officer may coordinate with appropriate department personnel in preparing the report required under subsection (2)(d). The report may contain only deidentified information.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 471, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 233, L. 2017; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 87, L. 2021; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 405, L. 2023.