Suicide prevention bill goes before Assembly Appropriations Committee
Highland Community News / May 28, 2020
SACRAMENTO – With the stress and economic fallout from the COVID-19 emergency escalating mental hardships among millions of Californians, the Assembly Health Committee, approved on Monday, May 18, a unanimous bipartisan vote on a bill written by Assemblyman James C. Ramos (D-Highland) to create a statewide Office of Suicide Prevention.
Ramos cited a news article that reported text messages to the federal government’s disaster distress hotline increased by more than 1,000 percent in April. The Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Center in Los Angeles is one of three centers taking on regional as well as national calls. Ramos said that in February, Hirsch took 22 calls on its suicide and disaster help lines related to coronavirus. In March, calls had leaped to 1,800.
“These numbers represent the people we know about; we know that many more individuals do not reach out for help. Such statistics add a new urgency to creating a statewide office to reduce suicide rates,” Ramos said.