Suicide-prevention training bill passes Assembly

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Updated: 5/19/2014 6:45 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A bill requiring mental health professionals to undergo suicide-prevention training is moving through the Legislature, with federal data showing adult suicides soaring since 1999.

AB2189 heads to the Senate after narrowly passing the Assembly Monday on a 44-11 vote.

Democratic Assemblyman Marc Levine of San Rafael says his bill follows recommendations from a national suicide-prevention coalition. Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers questioned whether a mandate is the best approach, noting opposition from professional groups.

The bill sets training requirements for psychologists, social workers, family therapists and counselors, to take effect in 2016.

Levine says 40 percent of people who commit suicide met with a professional a year before their death. Democratic Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, a social worker, says it's not clear if a lack of training contributes to deaths.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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