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AB-509 Suicide prevention.(2007-2008)

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Amended  IN  Senate  June 27, 2007
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2007
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 09, 2007
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2007


Assembly Bill
No. 509

Introduced  by  Assembly Member Hayashi
(Principal Coauthor(s): Senator Steinberg)
(Principal Coauthor(s): Assembly Member DeSaulnier)
(Coauthor(s): Assembly Member Coto, Dymally, Eng)
(Coauthor(s): Senator Alquist, Migden)

February 20, 2007

An act to add Section 4098.6 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to mental health.


AB 509, as amended, Hayashi. Suicide prevention.
Existing law sets forth the powers and duties of the State Department of Mental Health, including, but not limited to, the administration of the state hospitals for the mentally disordered, the licensing of psychiatric facilities, and oversight responsibilities related to the provision of local mental health services. Existing law, the California Suicide Prevention Act of 2000, authorizes the department to establish and implement a suicide prevention, education, and gatekeeper training program to reduce the severity, duration, and incidence of suicidal behaviors.
This bill would require the department to establish the Office of Suicide Prevention by January 1, 2009, and would set forth its duties relating to the establishment and coordination of implementation of a statewide suicide prevention strategy. The bill would require the department to implement the bill using existing funds and resources, and would require the office to post suicide data on the department’s Web site.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) More people die by suicide in America than by homicide.
(b) More people die by suicide in America than by AIDS.
(c) Approximately 30,000 Americans die by suicide every year; the equivalent of 9/11 happening almost every month.
(d) California has the highest number of suicides in the United States.
(e) Every suicide affects at least six people; family members and friends who are left to mourn.
(f) Every year there are at least 180,000 new people grieving the death of a loved one by suicide.
(g) According to the State Department of Health Care Services, 3,323 people commit suicide annually statewide and the number of individuals who attempt suicide is growing at an alarming rate.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4098.6 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

 (a) The department shall establish an Office of Suicide Prevention by January 1, 2009.
(b) The Office of Suicide Prevention shall do all of the following:
(1) Coordinate the creation and implementation of a statewide suicide prevention strategy modeled after the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
(2) Collect and disseminate information on best practices as determined by an advisory committee made up of prominent minds in the field.
(3) Collect and disseminate data compiled from the State Registrar of Vital Statistics and other sources regarding suicide deaths, including, but not limited to, manner and means of death, age, race, ethnicity, and city of residence.
(4) Compile information from research institutes and other state agencies regarding suicide attempts, treatment, and success of treatment, including whether there were any subsequent attempts.
(5) Develop prevention training standards with an emphasis on underserved communities and cultural competency.
(6) Report to the Legislature and subsequently to the public, the extent of the problem and the effectiveness of various prevention measures.
(c) The department shall implement this section using existing funds and resources.
(d) The office shall post on the department’s Internet Web site data relating to suicide in California.