U.S. House overwhelmingly passes suicide prevention hotline bill

Politics

WASHINGTON (News4Utah) – A suicide prevention bill backed by two Utah lawmakers takes a big step forward.

A suicide crisis is gripping the country, and no community is immune.

“Suicide can strike anywhere. These are our neighbors, coworkers, family members, friends, and I believe we have the power and the responsibility to reach out and help them,” said Representative Chris Stewart, (R) Utah.

Utah is hit especially hard, ranking 5th for the highest suicide deaths in the country.

Stewart says his bill can help and is calling on his colleagues in the House to act.

“I introduced the National Suicide Prevention Hotline Improvement Act to streamline and provide easy access to potentially life-saving resources by designating a new, national 3-digit dialing code, similar to 9-1-1, for national suicide prevention and mental health crisis,” said Stewart.

Senator Orrin Hatch is sponsoring the bill in the Senate. He too recently commented on the urgent need.

“Every minute we wait, we leave helpless hundreds of Americans who are struggling with suicidal thoughts. There are literally lives on the line here, and leaving them on hold is not an option,” said Hatch, (R) Utah.

Monday, the House overwhelmingly approved the bill on a vote of 397-1. It now faces one final vote in the Senate.

In the meantime, help is available by phone. The national hotline number is 1-800-273-TALK.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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