Published : Monday, April 30, 2018 | 5:21 PM
California’s State Senate has voted to pass SB 972, authored by Pasadena area Senator Anthony J. Portantino, that would require public, charter, and private schools to print a suicide prevention hotline number and/or text crisis lines on student identification cards for grades seven through all college institutions.
Portantino introduced the legislation in February out of his concern for mounting cases of adolescent suicide and self-inflicted injuries. Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages to 15 to 24.
On April 26, the bill passed the Senate floor with strong bipartisan support.
“I am so glad that my colleagues have supported this important legislation,” Portantino said in a statement. “As a father and a legislator, the safety of our youth has always been a priority for me. My hopes for this bill is to open a dialogue about suicide and help prevent these horrific tragedies. If we can save one life through this bill, our efforts will matter to that family more than anyone can measure.”
According to the final version of the bill, printing of the suicide prevention and/or text crisis lines on student ID cards should begin on July 1, 2019.
Portantino has long been a strong advocate for suicide prevention and mental health policy. The bill is close to the senator as his family has been closely affected by suicide, the statement said.
A number of organizations have expressed support for SB 972, among them 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, Palo Alto Mid-Peninsula Junior League, California School Boards Association, California School Nurses Organization, California State PTA, County Behavioral Health Directors Association, Disability Rights California, Hathaway-Sycamores, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, High School Parent Engagement Group, Mental Health America of California, Pacific Clinics, and Special Education Local Plan Area Administrators of California.