Lauryn’s Law

The Maryland State Legislature adopted House Bill 947 in May, 2015 called Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board – School Counselors Certification Renewal Requirement (Lauryn’s Law).  It requires school counselors to obtain the skills required to understand and respond to the social, emotional, and personal development of students, including knowledge and skills relating to:

  1. the recognition of indicators of mental illness and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse and
  2. the identification of professional resources to help students in crisis.

    For background on how this bill was created, read Maryland bill would require extra training for school counselors and a story written by Lauryn’s mother (Linda Diaz) called Linda’s Story.

    The PSTEB has decided that this requirement can be met by either obtaining one graduate credit or 15 continuing education clock hours related to Lauryn’s Law.  Specifically:

    1. Prior to the renewal or reinstatement of the current certificate, an educator certified as a school counselor shall provide one of the following:
      1. One semester hour of coursework from an Institution of Higher Education;
      2. One Department-approved continuing professional development credit; or
      3. An equivalent number (15) of continuing education units.
    2. The coursework, professional development, or continuing education unit required by #1 of this regulation shall address:
      1. The need for intervention or referral in response to indicators of mental illness and behavioral distress, including, but not limited to:
        1. Depression/anxiety
        2. Trauma
        3. Violence
        4. Substance Abuse
        5. Youth Suicide
      2. The identification of professional resources and best practices for distributing resources to parents or guardians to help students in crisis

PsyCoun has responded by offering 5 workshops (one on each of the suggested topics) with the Lauryn’s Law name so they are clearly identifyable.  These workshops may be used, in any combination and with training from our sources, to meet the requirements for recertification.  Professional School Counselors need 15 CE Clock Hours related to Lauryn's Law when they renew their credential or a one unit graduate course (equivalent to 15 clock hours).

School Counselors will recognize that these topics are not new.  Most counselors studied these topics in graduate school courses.  However, an update on recent research and techniques that are most effective may be helpful.  It is also helpful to have materials for parents/guardians.  While a school counselor may understand very well what the student needs, it may not always be possible to provide that assistance.  Helping the parents better respond and appropriately meet the needs of their child may be the most effective technique, given limited resources.

It is very difficult to break these topics apart. Anxiety may lead to depression, which may lead to substance abuse.  Or, the order may be reversed, but the result is similar.  PsyCoun knows that school counselors have many options for refreshing their knowledge about these topics, so we have created 5 stand-alone workshops.  Together, they cover the requirements for Lauryn’s Law.  You are welcome to take them in any order and any combination to meet your training needs related to these topics. PsyCoun guarantees that each of our courses will discuss effective treatments, sources for referral, and provide handouts you can duplicate for parents.  


PsyCoun Consulting, LLC offers training and consulting services related to psychology, counseling, and career development to individuals, professionals, corporations, and educational organizations.  For more information contact: info@PsyCoun.com

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