Advocates Support Mandatory Suicide Prevention Training for All Licensed Psychologists in California

Contact: Alexis O’Brien, PR Director, 347-826-3577, [email protected]

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Favors Passage of AB 89

SACRAMENTO, CA (March 7, 2017) – One person dies by suicide every two hours in the state of California. To help prevent this tragic loss of life, volunteer advocates from the California chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are visiting the state capitol on Wednesday, March 8th to encourage their legislative leaders for their support of Assembly Bill 89, Psychologist: Suicide Prevention Training. If passed, this bill would mandate suicide prevention training for all licensed psychologists in the state.

“Effective January 2020, AB 89 will require an applicant for licensure as a psychologist to show as part of the application, that he or she has completed a minimum of six hours of coursework or applied experience under supervision in suicide risk assessment and intervention. Those who are licensed prior to January 1, 2020 will have a one-time requirement to either complete training or show proof that they have previously satisfied the requirement,” said Gordon Doughty, co-chair of AFSP’s California Public Policy Committee and San Francisco Chapter Board Member. Doughty has been involved with AFSP since losing his daughter to suicide in 2003.

For the past year, AFSP has been working with the California Board of Psychology to study the training and licensure testing for psychologists to ensure that they have adequate training in suicide risk assessment and intervention. In November 2016, the Board of Psychology Licensing Committee proposed prospective statutory language to the full Board. The Board agreed and Assemblyman Marc Levine introduced AB 89. This legislation is sponsored by the California Board of Psychology.

The advocates are part of a larger national movement of AFSP volunteer advocates who will be visiting 35 state capitols across the United States in spring 2017 to bring best practices in suicide prevention to state legislators.

Suicide in California

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in California. For people aged 25-34 in California, it is the second leading cause of death. For those aged 10-24, it is the third leading cause of death. More than twice as many people die by suicide in California annually than from homicide.


The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.



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