Legislation designates 9-8-8 as the suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline
May 14 2020
WASHINGTON – The Senate unanimously passed U.S. Senator Jerry Moran’s (R-Kan.) bipartisan bill to designate 9-8-8 as the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. Sen. Moran introduced this bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).
“Now, more than ever, Kansans and the entire country will benefit from greater access to critical suicide prevention and mental health services,” said Sen. Moran. “Designating 9-8-8 as a nationwide suicide help and prevention number provides an easy-to-remember and easy-to-access service for people to dial when they need a helping hand. As our nation faces a pandemic that limits our human interaction, Americans need this life-saving resource to help prevent suicide and provide a vital mental health service.”
Sen. Moran’s legislation, S. 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act directs the FCC to designate 9-8-8 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis line is 10-digits long, which is a barrier to Americans in crisis seeking support. This line would include the Veterans Crisis Line for veteran-specific mental health support. Additionally, the legislation will authorize the ability of states to collect fees to ensure local call centers are able to support increased volume.
This legislation is endorsed by: American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, American Association of Suicidology, American Counseling Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Legion, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, American Telemedicine Association, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Association For Ambulatory Behavioral Health, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Behavioral Health Association of Providers, Behavioral Health Link, Centerstone, Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS), Depression Association of America, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Education Development Center, Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice, Illinois Association of Behavioral Health, Kevin & Margaret Hines Foundation, Mental Health America, Mental Health Colorado, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association for Rural Mental Health, National Association of Social Workers, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, National Board for Certified Counselors, National Council for Behavioral Health, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, NowMattersNow.org, Open minds, Postpartum Support International, RI International, SMART Recovery, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, Tourette Association of America, The Trevor Project, United Suicide Survivors International and 2020 Mom.
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