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Portantino introduces bill to require suicide prevention hotline numbers be provided in schools

State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) introduced legislation this week that would require all public, charter and private schools to print a suicide prevention hotline number on the back of their students' identification cards.

The measure, SB 972, would be for seventh through 12th grades and all higher education institutions. Adolescent suicide and self-inflicted injury are a serious social and public health concern, Portantino said.

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"It is a little bittersweet for me to introduce SB 972 because I'm proud to do it, but I'm saddened that it's necessary," he said.

"Providing this information is a simple thing to do and will protect our students who face mental illness and suicidal thoughts. As a community, we should provide potential lifesaving information to prevent unfortunate events" Portantino added.

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Although just introduced, the measure has gained several co-authors in the Senate.

"After my brother's suicide, I was saddened to learn that so many friends, neighbors and strangers had family members who struggled with suicide," Portantino said.

"I don't want to read about another young person who takes his or her own life. I am committed to carry legislation that will bring mental health out of the shadows into everyday conversation without stigma. If SB 972 saves only one life, it is well worth our efforts" he added.

Twitter: @lamarkkellam

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