Dear [Decision Maker],
We are writing to urge immediate passage of S. 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, during National Suicide Prevention Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) both recognize that growing rates of suicide have become a public health crisis that needs to be met with practical and policy-oriented solutions.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in adults, and the second leading cause of death in young people ages 10-24-years-old. But the need for crisis resources is increasing at a staggering rate. According to data from the Mental Health America (MHA) online screening program, 41,000 people reported frequent thoughts of suicide or self-harm in the month of August alone, including over 17,000 11-17-year-olds. This past July, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) addressed the nation's increasing mental health needs and voted unanimously to establish 9-8-8 as a three-digit phone number for people experiencing a mental health crisis to call by July 2022. However, Congress has yet to pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which would officially designate 9-8-8 as the easy-to-remember hotline number and, most importantly, authorize states to fund crisis services in the same way they do medical emergencies through 9-1-1. To be fully operational and meet the high and growing demand for resources, Congress must act this session to enact this important legislation.
Personalize your message
Please take time this month, National Suicide Prevention Month, to ensure the new 9-8-8 dialing code is properly funded and well-staffed to meet its promise and purpose for the American people. Please urge your party leadership to vote on and approve S. 2661 as soon as possible.
[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP] [Your Email]