Stewart Secures Critical Funding for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02) secured an additional $3 million for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in FY2020 Appropriations bill, totaling $20 million. This amendment, championed by Rep. Stewart, will build capacity in states with the highest need. This will allow officials to quickly respond to the steadily increasing call volume and uneven coverage throughout the Nation.
Utah’s suicide rate has been consistently higher than the national rate for more than a decade. An average of 627 Utahns die from suicide and 4,574 Utahns attempt suicide each year. Suicide is now the leading cause of death in Utah for 10 to 17-year-olds.
“Suicide is truly a crisis that is especially evident in Utah. Our state has recently seen an increase in the amount of suicides, particularly among our youth. This funding is critical in engaging our states and building a stronger network to reverse this tragic trend and potentially save thousands of lives. Thanks to the amazing individuals at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention who worked hand-in-hand with my staff to make this a possibility.”- Rep. Chris Stewart
More about the amendment:
On August 14, 2018, President Trump signed Rep. Stewart’s National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act. This new law asked the FCC and SAMHSA to conduct a study examining the feasibility of designating a three-digit dialing code and provide overall recommendations for improving the Lifeline. SAMHSA’s completed portion of the study revealed that the greatest challenges to the effectiveness of the Lifeline are its capacity to respond rapidly to the steadily increasing call volume and uneven coverage among states.