AB 2112 will target youth, veterans, LGBTQ, senior populations
SACRAMENTO – Legislation introduced today would create an Office of Suicide Prevention as recommended last year by a state mental health oversight commission. The proposal, AB 2112, introduced by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland), would enhance state efforts to reduce suicides, particularly among vulnerable groups such as adolescents, older adults, veterans and LGBTQ youth and adults.
“Suicide is a horrific tragedy that affects too many, and now we are seeing youth at a much younger age taking their own lives,” Ramos said. “AB 2112 will assist California to renew our efforts to prevent suicide and stem the devastation.”
Ramos said California’s Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission submitted a report, “Developing a Strategic Statewide Suicide Prevention Plan.” It recommended that the state establish an Office of Suicide Prevention to create visible, state-level leadership on the dilemma.
“We know how critical this effort is when we see that more than 4,000 Californians die by suicide every year according to the strategic plan’s research,” Ramos said. He added that the data also revealed thousands more contemplate ending their lives.
Ramos stated he is especially concerned that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24 according to a 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Also, CDC released 1991-2017 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data which reported that 1 in 6 high school students stated they seriously considered ending their lives and more than 1 in 12 reported attempted suicide. “In 2014, 3,575 children were hospitalized for non-fatal self-inflicted injuries among children and youth ages 5-20 in California. That is heart breaking,” Ramos said. “We can’t let those numbers stand. Those are children dear to their families, classmates, and friends.”
If the measure is approved, the new office would be created within the Office of the Surgeon General and charged with recommending best practices to prevent suicide, especially for those populations with acute suicide risk – young people ages 15-24, veterans, older adults, and LGBTQ youth and adults.
Assemblymember James Ramos proudly represents the 40th Assembly district which includes Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino.