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Reps. Stewart, Delaney, Serrano, and Faso Push for More Mental Health Funding in Bipartisan Letter

Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT), John K. Delaney (D-MD), Jose Serrano (D-NY), and John Faso (R-NY) sent a letter to Chairman Tom Cole (OK-5) and Ranking Member Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-5) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Service, Education, and Related Agencies applauding the bipartisan effort to address the mental health crisis in our country. In the letter requests additional funding in this year’s appropriations bill to close gaps in providing comprehensive care to mental health patients.

“Too many of us have experienced the tragic loss of life and heartbreak that results from suicide,” said Congressman Stewart. “Access to suicide prevention resources is critical, and I believe Congress can do more to help those in crisis. I’m hopeful that these imperative resources will be fully funded in this year’s appropriations.”

“These recommendations will allow for a more holistic approach to mental health,” said Congressman Delaney. “We need to ensure that no one is falling through the cracks when it comes to education, treatment, and addressing spikes in specific communities. I thank Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro for their past leadership on this issue and appreciate the work of Congressmen Serrano and Stewart in highlighting these critical areas.”

“The mental health crisis in our country has reached alarming levels. According to the CDC, the rates of suicide and substance abuse have skyrocketed in nearly every state during the past two decades. Congress must act to provide those on the front lines with the resources they need to help prevent those who are considering self-harm from doing so. This bipartisan package includes additional resources, research funding, and real-time data to meet this public health crisis head on, help people better cope during difficult times, and ultimately save lives,” said Congressman Serrano.

“We must continue to enhance the resources available for programs that are dedicated to understanding and treating mental health issues,” said Congressman Faso. “Unfortunately, suicide is a growing problem in New York and throughout our country, demonstrating the need to increase funding for grant programs aimed at suicide prevention. This letter shows a bipartisan commitment in support of various suicide prevention programs aimed at real results.”

The requested funding increases would allow already existing programs to more effectively serve patients and those most at-risk, including greater resources for 24/7 national call centers, implementation of new youth and campus-based prevention programs, heightened resources for Native American and Alaskan Native prevention programs, more efficient data capture and resource allocation at emergency rooms, and the building of new, scalable research models using big data and algorithms.

The programs that would receive additional funding include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the National Institutes of Mental Health, The Garrett Lee Smith Youth and Campus Suicide Prevention and State Grant Programs, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, and the Syndromic Surveillance of Self-Harm Behaviors and Suicidal Ideation.

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