State Sen. Anthony Portantino’s suicide prevention legislation, SB 972, passed the California State Legislature this week and is headed to the governor’s desk for his signature. SB 972 requires public, charter and private schools to print the National Suicide Prevention Hotline telephone number on all student identification cards starting in 7th grade and continuing through college.
“I am so glad that this small but important piece of legislation has garnered support from both houses and is headed to the governor,” Portantino said in a prepared statement. “As a father and a legislator, the safety of our children is a top priority. I hope that as a community we are more open to have a dialogue about mental health and suicide 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.”
Portantino, who considers himself a strong advocate for suicide prevention and mental health policy, said this bill also was personal for his family, which has been affected by suicide. Adolescent suicide and self-inflicted injury are a serious social and public health concern, Portantino said, and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24.