A bill passed in the California Senate today that may help licensed psychologists save lives.
Assembly Bill 89 (Levine), sponsored by the State Board of Psychology, passed in the California Senate today. If signed into law, the bill will, effective January 2020, require applicants for licensure as psychologists to prove he or she has completed six hours of coursework in suicide risk and assessment. Psychologists licensed prior to that date will be required to take a one-time, six-hour training or prove that he or she has satisfactorily completed the requirement.
According to the California chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), that also sponsored the bill, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in California—the second-leading cause of death for people ages 25–34 and third leading for people ages 10–24. More than twice as many people die by suicide in California annually than from homicide. The AFSP also reports that “approximately 32% of people who die by suicide have contact with mental health services within a year of their death, and 19% of people who die by suicide have contact with a mental health professional in the month prior to their death.”
The bill now moves to Governor Brown for approval.