President Trump Signs Sens. Moran, Gardner, Baldwin and Reed’s 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Hotline Bill
Oct 19 2020
WASHINGTON – This weekend, President Donald Trump signed S. 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.). This bipartisan legislation designates 9-8-8 as the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline.
“I commend President Trump for signing our legislation into law, designating this three-digit number, 9-8-8, as the new national suicide and mental health crisis hotline number,” said Sen. Moran. “This pandemic has highlighted the need for modernized mental health and suicide prevention resources, and this easy-to-remember number will help connect callers in need of help with experts who can offer resources and hope to make it through a mental health crisis.”
“I applaud the President for signing my common-sense, bipartisan legislation to shorten the national suicide hotline from ten digits to three easy-to-remember numbers: 9-8-8,” said Sen. Gardner. “Colorado tragically has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, which is why I’ve made it a priority to work with my colleagues across the aisle for years to make mental health support more available. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased our state’s mental health needs, and during this unprecedented challenge suicide prevention is now more important than ever. This change to 9-8-8 will make it easier for Americans dealing with a crisis to access mental health support that could save their lives.”
The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, S. 2661, designates 9-8-8 as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which would include the Veterans Crisis Line for veteran-specific mental health support. The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Line is 10-digits long, which is a barrier to Americans in crisis seeking support.
During the transition to 9-8-8, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK). Veterans and servicemembers may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net, or texting 838255.