Sacramento, California – The California State Senate voted to pass SB 972 with bi-partisan support. The bill authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) 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.
“I am so glad that my colleagues have supported this important legislation. 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,” commented Senator Portantino.
Senator Portantino has a distinguished record supporting the well-being of kids at all levels. He is a strong advocate for suicide prevention and mental health policy. This bill is close to Senator Portantino as his family has been closely affected by suicide.
SB 972 is coauthored by Senator Atkins, D-San Diego, Senator Beall, D- San Jose, Senator Lara, D-Bell Gardens, Senator Leyva, D – Chino, Senator Newman, D-Fullerton, Senator Wiener, D- San Francisco, Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr., D–South Los Angeles, and Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez, D- Pomona.
Adolescent suicide and self-inflicted injury are a serious social and public health concern. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24.
SB 972 is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics California, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, California Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, California Catholic Conference, California Junior Leagues’ State Public Affairs Committee, Pal Alto Mid-Peninsula Junior League, California School Boards Association, California School Nurses Organization, 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.