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Three-Digit Suicide Hotline Number Being Considered in Congress

Three-Digit Suicide Hotline Number Being Considered in Congress

By    |   Monday, 05 March 2018 03:48 PM

A new three-digit suicide hotline number is being considered by Congress and has strong bipartisan support in both houses.

The shorter number would replace the current hotline, 1-800-273-TALK, which some say is hard to remember in the middle of a mental health emergency, CNN reported. President Donald Trump's recent statements about getting more help for those with mental health issues after the Parkland school shooting may have prompted the bill to move forward.

Senator Orrin Hatch, who introduced the bill in the Senate, expressed the need for the bill by referencing a Utah woman who tried to call her counselor before her suicide, but was unsuccessful in reaching her, CNN reported.

"I believe that by making the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline system more user-friendly and accessible, we can save thousands of lives by helping people find the help they need when they need it most," Hatch said, CNN reported.

Suicide rates in the U.S. have increased in recent years, becoming the 10th leading cause of death in the country, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported. In 2016, 44,965 people committed suicide.

When the suicide hotline is used, the likelihood of suicide decreases significantly, CNN reported. The hotline is confidential, accessible 24 hours a day, and callers can hang up at will.

The bill has already passed the Senate and is being considered in the House, with bipartisan support, CNN reported.

"Too many of us have experienced the tragic loss of life and heartbreak that results from suicide. Those who have experienced this tragedy have expressed to me that, while there are many resources for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, it can be difficult to find these resources in a time of need," bill co-sponsor and Utah Republican Representative Chris Stewart reported, CNN reported.

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Congress is weighing a new three-digit suicide hotline number that aims to make it easier for those in need to reach help during mental health emergencies.
three-digit, suicide, hotline, congress
Monday, 05 March 2018 03:48 PM
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