“As a father, I don’t want to ever read another story in the paper about a teen who took his or her life,” said Portantino. “I am hopeful that for students struggling with depression and grappling with suicidal thoughts, having this resource readily available will save a life. It’s a simple idea that should have a significant impact.”
Beginning this week, students and parents will find a new addition to their student identification cards as the new school year commences. SB 972 requires public, charter, and private schools that serve pupils from 7th – 12th grade and institutes of higher education to print the National Suicide Prevention Hotline telephone number on student identification cards.
Senator Portantino has long been a strong advocate for suicide prevention and mental health policy. Adolescent suicide and self-inflicted injury are serious social and public health concerns.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24. The addition of the suicide hotline on student identification cards is a sensible inclusion that will undoubtedly save lives.