Beyer, Katko seek suicide prevention funding

Don BeyerDays after a Centers for Disease Control study showed dramatic increases in suicide rates across the country, Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and John Katko (R-NY) wrote to House appropriators seeking increased funding for an array of federal suicide prevention programs.

Beyer and Katko are the co-founders of the bipartisan House Suicide Prevention Task Force.

They wrote:

“As you continue FY 2019 Appropriations deliberations, we write to request increased funding for suicide prevention programs.

The recent celebrity deaths of designer Kate Spade and then chef and restaurateur Anthony Bourdain have brought suicide into the national limelight once again.  Unfortunately, these deaths are a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of individuals we will lose to suicide this year.

This data shows that it is imperative that Congress commit to $150 million for suicide prevention research within the National Institutes of Mental Health.  In addition to recognizing the urgent need for greater research, we are also concerned that funding has remained flat or decreased for many suicide prevention programs in recent years.

The spike in calls to the Lifeline following the recent celebrity deaths and the new CDC data reinforce the urgency and magnitude of this epidemic.  Congress cannot afford to continue to undercut investments in critical programs that help prevent suicide.  We need to be doing more to combat suicide, not less.”

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