Published : Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | 5:04 AM
Governor Jerry Brown has signed a suicide prevention bill that seeks to amend the state’s Education Act and require schools to print suicide prevention hotlines on students’ identification cards.
SB 972, authored by Pasadena-area Senator Anthony Portantino, requires the printing of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Crisis Text Line, and a local suicide prevention hotline number, on the ID cards of students in public, charter, and private schools serving pupils in grades 7 to 12 and those in higher education.
“I would like to thank Governor Brown for signing SB 972 and his support on this important issue,” Portantino said in a statement. “As a father and a legislator, the safety of our children continues to be a priority. My hope is to foster an open dialogue about suicide and to help prevent these horrific tragedies. If one life can be saved through this bill then all of our efforts will have been worth it.”
In the statement, Portantino said adolescent suicide and self-inflicted injury are a serious social and public health concern. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24.
Several organizations in California have expressed their support for SB 972, including the American Academy of Pediatrics California, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, California Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, California Catholic Conference, California Junior Leagues’ State Public Affairs Committee, Pal Alto Mid-Peninsula Junior League, California School Boards Association, and California School Nurses Organization.
Other who have supported the bill include California State PTA, County Behavioral Health Directors Association, Disability Rights California (DRC), Hathaway-Sycamores, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, High School Parent Engagement Group, Mental Health America of California (MHAC), Pacific Clinics, and Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Administrators of California.