Congresswoman Johnson’s National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act Passes the House
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson today secured the passage of H.R. 2345, the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill proposes meaningful changes to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Line. Co-authoring the bill with Congresswoman Johnson is Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT).
The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 379-1 and received overwhelming, bi-partisan support. It now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
“I am pleased by the bi-partisan support this bill received, which proposes meaningful changes to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis Line,” Congresswoman Johnson said. “This legislation sets out to enact easily-implementable improvements to our nation’s current suicide-prevention infrastructure. Once the provisions in this bill go into effect, we will make more resources available and available at much greater ease, so more Americans in distress can access the resources they need and fewer will feel the only solution is to take their own life.”
The bi-partisan legislation tasks the Federal Communications Commission and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to study the creation of a three-digit dialing code, similar to 9-1-1, as a suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. Additionally, it directs the agencies to perform a cost and benefit analysis of the hotline’s creation and provide recommendations to improve the overall effectiveness of the current system.
“Today’s legislative accomplishment lays the groundwork for real progress to be achieved in saving lives. This bill is about improving our country’s primary suicide-prevention communications system and equipping it to carry out its mission with greater efficiency. I am appreciative to Congressman Stewart for his support during the entire process of introducing the bill and, ultimately, helping it pass today. The success of this legislation is a testament to the work Congress can still successfully undertake to make our country better for everyone,” said Congresswoman Johnson.
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