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AB-917 Student health: student suicide prevention policies.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/04/2017 09:00 PM
AB917:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 04, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 917


Introduced by Assembly Member Arambula

February 16, 2017


An act to add Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 66265) to Chapter 4.5 of Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, relating to student health.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 917, as amended, Arambula. Student health: student suicide prevention policies.
Existing law requires the governing board or body of a local educational agency that serves pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to, before the beginning of the 2017–18 school year, adopt a policy on pupil suicide prevention, as specified, that specifically addresses the needs of high-risk groups. Existing law establishes the University of California, under the administration of the Regents of the University of California, the California State University, under the administration of the Trustees of the California State University, and the California Community Colleges, under the administration of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, as the 3 segments of public postsecondary education in this state.
This bill would require the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and the Trustees of the California State University, and encourage the Regents of the University of California, before the beginning of the 2018–19 school year, by January 1, 2019, to adopt, at a regularly scheduled meeting, a policy on student suicide prevention, as specified, that specifically addresses the needs of high-risk student groups. By imposing additional duties on community college districts, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) College students are experiencing increased rates of mental health issues and demand for treatment services. According to the 2012 National Survey of Counseling Center Directors, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, at a rate of seven deaths by suicide per 100,000 students. This results in nearly 200 public college student deaths annually in California alone.
(b) According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health Annual Report, 31 percent of undergraduate college students have seriously considered suicide and 10 percent of undergraduate college students have attempted suicide.
(c) The average lifetime cost of death by suicide for persons 20 to 24 years of age, inclusive, for work loss and medical costs is more than $1.89 million per make change person, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(d) A conservative estimate for the total cost to the state from public college student deaths by suicide is $350 million each year.

SEC. 2.

 Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 66265) is added to Chapter 4.5 of Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  2.5. Student Suicide Prevention Policies

66265.
 (a) The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and the Trustees of the California State University shall, and the Regents of the University of California are encouraged to, before the beginning of the 2018–19 school year, by January 1, 2019, adopt, at a regularly scheduled meeting, a policy on student suicide prevention. The policy shall be developed in consultation with school and community stakeholders, school-employed mental health professionals, and suicide prevention experts and shall, at a minimum, address procedures relating to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.
(b) The policy shall specifically address the needs of high-risk groups, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Students bereaved by suicide.
(2) Students with disabilities, mental illness, or substance use disorders.
(3) Students experiencing homelessness or in out-of-home settings.
(4) Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning students.
(5) Students with an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) score of 4 or higher.
(6) Bullied students.
(7) Unique needs of a student population.
(c) (1) The policy shall also address any training to be provided to employees on suicide awareness and prevention.
(2) Materials approved by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, the Trustees of the California State University, or the Regents of the University of California for training shall include how to identify appropriate mental health services and suicide prevention programs, both at the campus and within the larger community, and when and how to refer students to those services and programs.
(3) Materials approved for training may also include programs that can be completed through self-review of suitable suicide prevention materials.
(d) The policy shall be written to ensure that an employee acts only within the authorization and scope of the employee’s employment terms or license. Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing or encouraging an employee to diagnose or treat mental illness unless the employee is specifically licensed and employed to diagnose or treat mental illness.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.