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Governor Signs Bill to Help Psychologists Prevent Suicide


September 11, 2017

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Michelle Cave, (916) 574-8170

(Sacramento)-On September 1, 2017, day one of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 89 (Levine), which was co-sponsored by the California Board of Psychology.

The bill takes effect January 1, 2020, and requires all licensed psychologists to receive education and training in suicide risk assessment and intervention. Psychologists will need to complete a one-time, minimum of six hours of coursework or supervised applied experience.

In its sponsorship letter supporting the bill, the board stated, “Suicide is a critical public health issue in the State of California, where on average, one person dies of suicide every two hours and twice as many people die of suicide than by homicide.” The board also cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suicide is the third leading cause of death for alifornians ages 15 to 34, and the tenth leading cause of death for Californians of all ages. With the passage of this bill, all psychologists will be exposed to a baseline of basic education and training regarding the identification and assistance required for a patient or client with suicidal ideation. Although psychologists are among the best trained clinicians in addressing suicidality, the board wants to ensure that all psychologists have received a minimum of basic training.

To find a licensed psychologist in your area or to check the license of your current psychologist, visit the website of the California State Board of Psychology psychology.ca.gov.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGY: The Board of Psychology’s mission is to advance quality psychological services for Californians by ensuring ethical and legal practice and supporting the evolution of the profession. For information on how to file a complaint, or for information about the Board of Psychology, visit us at psychology.ca.gov

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS: The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) promotes and protects the interests of California consumers while ensuring a competent and fair marketplace. DCA helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals. The department also protects professionals (licensees) from unfair competition by unlicensed practitioners. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting DCA at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at dca.ca.gov.