Assemblymember O’Donnell Legislation to Combat Suicide among Children and Young Adults Clears Committee

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – Legislation by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) that will help prevent teen suicides passed the Assembly Education Committee today. AB 2246, which is supported by Equality California and The Trevor Project, is designed to provide teachers and school staff with tools to help students in crisis.

“AB 2246 will better equip California’s teachers to support the needs of at-risk kids,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell. “With parents, teachers and schools partnering to identify the early warning signs of suicidal depression, students will be far more likely to get the counseling necessary to prevent a tragedy.”

“California needs a statewide policy to help prevent teen suicide,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California.  “Protecting the health and wellbeing of all students is an ethical imperative, but with LGBT teens up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their non-LGBT peers, this bill is especially needed to keep LGBT kids safe.”

“With the recent attention California received for several suicide clusters in San Diego and Silicon Valley, the California Assembly Education Committee is taking a brave step in addressing this often stigmatized and taboo topic by passing Assembly Bill 2246,” said CEO and Executive Director Abbe Land of The Trevor Project, the only nationally accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.  “We look forward to being a part of bringing this policy into schools with our researched-based Model School District Policy, which can help school districts draft suicide prevention policies based on their specific needs.”

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death for children 10-14 and the second among people 15-34.

The bill now moves forward to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District, which includes
Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.