Published : Friday, March 16, 2018 | 7:56 AM
State Senator Anthony Portantino’s Student Suicide Prevention Bill, SB 972, passed the Senate Education Committee Wednesday with bipartisan support.
Portantino represents the 25th Senate District, which includes Altadena, Pasadena, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena and San Marino.
SB 972 would require public, charter, and private schools to print a suicide prevention hotline number and/or text crisis lines on the back of student’s identification cards. The measure would be required for grades 7 through 12 and all higher education institutions.
“I am proud that SB 972 has passed the Senate Education Committee,” Portantino said in a statement. “As a father and a legislator, the safety of our youth has always been a priority for me. This bill is a good step to forward to help prevent these horrific tragedies. No parent should ever have to face a daughter or son’s suicide and if we can prevent just one by providing important information we should seize that opportunity.”
The bill seeks to address adolescent suicide and self-inflicted injury as serious social and public health concerns. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24.
SB 972 is co-authored by Senator Atkins (D-San Diego), Senator Beall (D-San Jose), Senator Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Senator Leyva (D-Chino), Senator Newman (D-Fullerton), and Senator Wiener (D-San Francisco).
The bill is also supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics of California, California School Boards Association, California School Nurses Organization, Hathaway –Sycamores, and the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District.
Portantino has long been an advocate for suicide prevention and mental health policy.