Do you know how it feels to be adrift in one’s own mind? According to Mental Health America, one in four American adults lives with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition. May is Mental Health Month, which began more than 65 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness.
Last month, in support of mental health wellness, Assembly Bill 89, authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine, (D-Marin County), and sponsored by the California Board of Psychology, passed out of the Assembly. The bill requires applicants for licensure with the California Board of Psychology to complete a minimum of six hours of coursework or applied experience under supervision in suicide risk assessment and intervention.
“Suicide kills twice as many people in California as homicide, but not all mental healthcare providers have the training they need in suicide risk assessment and prevention,” said Assemblymember Levine. “AB 89 will save lives by making sure that psychologists have the training they need to identify suicidal individuals.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data, suicide is the third leading cause of death for Californians ages 15 to 34, and the tenth leading cause of death for Californians of all ages.
Moreover, in Sacramento County, nearly 355,000 residents live with mental illness, but research shows that only one-third of those individuals will seek help primarily due to the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.
The amount of training licensed psychologists receive varies widely from as few as six hours, to over 50. Assembly Bill 89 will standardize the minimum number of hours of suicide prevention training required for licensure in the State of California. This training can be completed through coursework, continuing education, or through applied experience.
On May 24, join mental health advocates on the East Steps of the State Capitol for Mental Health Matters Day 2017. The Each Mind Matters coalition has come together to plan and host this event to better the lives of people with mental illness.
In addition, learn more about reducing stigma and discrimination at StopStigmaSacramento.org and show your support on social media by following the project on Twitter @StopStigmaSac and be sure to ‘like’ the project on Facebook . Engage in positive mental health messages using the hashtag #StopStigma.
To check the licensing status of a psychologist, please visit the Board of Psychology’s website at www.psychology.ca.gov.
To learn more about Mental Health America, visit their website at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may