Congressional group pushes consideration of legislation to implement 9-8-8 suicide hotline

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A bipartisan delegation of 60 House members wrote on Friday to leadership of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce seeking expedited consideration of legislation to implement the 9-8-8 national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline.

The effort was led by Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), John Katko (R-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Seth Moulton (D-MA), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).

Their letter followed a unanimous vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designating 9-8-8 as the National Suicide Prevention & Mental Health Hotline.

From the letter:

“We commend this effort and want to make sure that it is implemented successfully. To that effect, we respectfully request that you expedite consideration for legislation that will help ensure the success of the new number to meet the eighteen-month timeframe:

“The Campaign to Prevent Suicide Act, H.R.4585, sets up an educational campaign to advertise the new number and raise awareness for suicide prevention resources and cultivate a more effective discourse on how to prevent suicide.

“The Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act, H.R.4564, will ensure the Lifeline can provide effective and timely responses to people in distress.

“The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, H.R. 4194, which will formally designate the number but also creates the telecommunications infrastructure necessary to implement the new 9-8-8 number itself.”

         
 

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