WASHINGTON, DC - Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed and Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) voted for and supported as a cosponsor, the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act (H.R. 2345). This bipartisan bill instructs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to study the designation of a 3-digit dialing code, similar to 9-1-1, for a suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system.
“Our nation is in the midst of a suicide crisis and Minnesota is no exception, especially in light of the state's crisis hotline recently being shut down,” said Congressman Emmer. “As the second leading cause of death in our state for young Minnesotans, suicide is quite literally killing the next generation. Today, the House is sounding the alarm by ensuring the national hotline is always available to and convenient for those who are suffering. I thank my colleague Rep. Chris Stewart for his leadership on this effort am proud to join as a cosponsor for the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act.”
H.R. 2345 specifically instructs the FCC and SAMHSA to perform a cost and benefit analysis of using a three-digit dialing code for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. It also asks them to recommend the best number for this purpose. Finally, the study will examine the overall effectiveness of the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line and recommend ways to improve the existing system.
“This is just one step towards helping turn the tide on America's suicide crisis, but every step counts,” said Emmer. “I look forward to leaders on every level, local, state and federal, coming together to provide care before crisis.”
Suicide statistics provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Click here.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS HAVING THOUGHTS ABOUT SUICIDE, PLEASE CALL THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE, AVAILABLE 24/7: 1-800-273-8255.