Senator Melissa Hurtado’s Bill to Prevent Teen Suicide Held by Assembly Appropriations Committee

September 10, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA – Senator Melissa Hurtado’s (D-Sanger) legislation, SB 331, was held by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill, which received bi-partisan support, would have required that all California counties develop a suicide prevention plan while focusing on the staggering rise in deaths among adolescents.

“This year, I was honored to introduce SB 331, a bill that received no opposition and included no additional cost to California counties. I sat with families from the Central Valley and across California who shared their experiences in losing loved ones to the disease – hearing firsthand about the need for a more proactive approach to prevent teen suicide.” stated Sen. Hurtado.

“This year, the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s leadership made a decision to deny families of additional preventative actions to help address mental health needs of California’s teenagers and would help prevent suicide for our youth. This decision by the committee is a reflection of how much more work is needed to be done,” continued Sen. Hurtado.

“The Steinberg Institute sponsored SB 331 out of our unwavering commitment to do whatever it takes to stem an increase in suicides”, said Maggie Merritt, Executive Director of the Steinberg Institute.  “We know California can become a leader in preventing suicides but it will require that we join forces and become more proactive at all levels of government.”

Over a ten year period, between 2007 and 2016, California has experienced a constant rise in deaths by suicide. Alarmingly, youth suicide and self-inflicted injury is on the rise, and is the second leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 24 in the United States. In California, almost 20 percent of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous year, with almost half of LGBTQ students reporting suicidal ideation – more than three times the estimate for their straight peers.

To download a message on National Suicide Month and National Suicide Week from the Senator, click here.

About Senator Melissa Hurtado

Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) represents the 14th Senate district in California, which includes cities in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. Senator Hurtado was born in Fresno, California and raised in the City of Sanger.