Would require a public school, including a charter school, or a private school that serves pupils in any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, that issues pupil identification cards to have printed on the back of the pupil identification cards the telephone number for a suicide prevention hotline. The bill would require a public or private institution of higher education that issues student identification cards to have printed on the back of the student identification cards the telephone number for a suicide prevention hotline. Because the bill would impose a new duty on campuses of the California Community Colleges, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
AAP Positional Letter
March 7, 2018
The Honorable Benjamin Allen. Chair, Senate Education Committee State Capitol, Room 2083 Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 445-7799
RE: SB 972 (Portantino): Pupil and student health: identification cards: suicide prevention hotline number AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Senator Allen,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports SB 972 (Portantino). This bill will would require a public school, including a charter school, or a private school that serves pupils in grades 7-12 and higher education to issue on the back of pupil identification cards a suicide prevention hotline telephone number commencing July 1, 2019.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) studies show that at least 90% of teens who kill themselves have some type of mental health issue, such as depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, or a behavioral problem. Other potential issues are difficulties at school or with friends or family. Some teens may have been victims of sexual or physical abuse or be struggling with issues related to sexual identity. Bullying, cyber-bullying and peer pressure have also been linked reasons for suicide.
Recently, the California Department of Education adopted a model youth suicide prevention policy to help educate and train counselors and school employees of the signs of suicidal behavior and mental illness.
SB 972 (Portantino) would expand this policy by providing an easily accessible suicide prevention telephone hotline number on student’s identification cards, which will be another necessary resource for potential lifesaving help.
Pediatricians across the state urge you to vote AYE on SB 972 (Portantino). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Senate Education Committee Members
Office of Honorable Anthony Portantino, California State Senate(Author) Lydia Bourne, AAP-CA Lobbyist