SACRAMENTO- The California State Assembly unanimously passed Assemblymember Tom Lackey’s (R-Palmdale) legislation to expand suicide prevention centers for LGBTQ youth.
California’s suicide rate is rising, and people in many parts of the state do not have the mental health support they need. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is one of the top three causes of death among children and young adults. In 2018, nearly 4,300 people took their own lives in California. This is a 50% increase since 2001.
The Trevor Project, a leading LGBTQ suicide prevention organization and strong supporter of the bill, AB 984, disclosed that LGBTQ youth are five times more likely to attempt suicide than non-LGBTQ youth.
AB 984 address this issue by allowing people to fund anti-suicide programs for youth (especially LGBTQ youth who are high-risk) in underserved areas by simply checking a box on their tax returns. The collected funds will then be used as grant funds to finance more mental health support services in underserved areas.
“For me this issue is singular—it is about saving lives. We must ensure mental health services are available to everyone, especially populations who suffer from higher-than-average suicide rates, regardless of their location,” said Lackey.
AB 984 is now headed to the California State Senate.
[Information via news release from the office of Assemblymember Tom Lackey.]