Published : Thursday, February 8, 2018 | 6:21 AM
Pasadena’s representative in the State Senate, Anthony J. Portantino, has introduced a bill which would require all public, charter, and private schools to print a suicide prevention hotline number on the back of students identification cards. The measure, SB 972, is expected to be enacted July 1, 2019 for grades seven through 12 and at all higher education institutions.
Intended to respond to the problem of adolescent suicide and self-inflicted injury as a serious social and public health concern, the measure has garnered a significant number of co-authors including Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Sen. Ricardo Lara, (D-Bell Gardens), Sen. Connie Leyva, (D-Chino), Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), and Sen. Scott Wiener (D- San Francisco), a press release said.
“After my brother’s suicide, I was saddened to learn that so many friends, neighbors, and strangers had family members who struggled with suicide,” Portantino said in the press statement. “I don’t want to read about another young person who takes his or her own life. I am committed to carry legislation that will bring mental health out of the shadows into everyday conversation without stigma. If SB 972 saves only one life it is well worth our efforts.”
Senator Portantino has a distinguished record supporting children’s well-being at all level and is an advocate for suicide prevention and mental health policy.
“It is a little bittersweet for me to introduce SB 972, because I’m proud to do it but I’m saddened that it’s necessary,” he adds. “Providing this information is a simple thing to do and will protect our students who face mental illness and suicidal thoughts. As a community, we should provide potential lifesaving information to prevent unfortunate events.”
Sen. Portantino represents the 25th Senate District, with a population of nearly 930,000, including the cities and towns of Pasadena, Altadena, La Cañada Flintridge,San Marino,Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena.