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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Applauds the House of Representatives for Dedicating Resources to the Fight for Suicide Prevention

29 Jul 2021 — 3 min read

By AFSP

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WASHINGTON (JULY 29, 2021) – On July 29, the House of Representatives passed the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations (Labor-HHS) bill. Laurel Stine, J.D., M.A., Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, released this statement:

“As an organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, we would like to thank the House of Representatives for the latest funding allocations for suicide prevention efforts, and we urge continued bipartisan support for addressing this leading cause of death.

Included in the legislation are important funding increases for critical suicide prevention programs: an additional $2 million at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for suicide prevention efforts (from $12 million to $14 million); an additional $10 million for the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) (from $24.5 million to $34.5 million); an additional $10 million for Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grants (from $24.427 million to $34.427 million); and increased funding for the American Indian and Alaskan Native Suicide Prevention Initiative at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). We also thank the Committee for including important language within NIMH that supports suicide prevention research in primary care settings.

AFSP applauds the Committee for record increases for crisis services and the continuum of care as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitions to 988 in July 2022, including a record increase of $89.6 million (from $24 million to $113.6 million) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK). AFSP is also thrilled to see the new $100 million in funding to establish the Mental Health Crisis Response Partnership Pilot Program for communities to create or enhance current mobile crisis teams and $10 million for the new Behavioral Health Crisis Coordinating Office. Lastly, AFSP praises the $125 million increase for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, and the $825 million for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG), which creates a new set-aside for prevention and early intervention, and an increase to the mental health crisis set-aside (from 5 percent to 10 percent). These allocations will help advance crisis response capabilities, which are essential to the successful implementation of 988.

AFSP commends the Members of the Appropriations Committee for their dedication and support for these essential, life-saving programs, especially the exceptional leadership of House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro for her passion and commitment to this cause. We also thank the Ranking Member of the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Tom Cole (R-OK) and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee Kay Granger (R-TX) for their help and support. We encourage the Senate to continue these important increases as they work through their Fiscal Year 2022 process.

AFSP also thanks our over 30,000 volunteer Field Advocates for raising their voices and telling Congress why suicide prevention is important to them. Their stories, efforts, and passion are making suicide prevention the national priority it deserves to be.”

To note: Until July 2022, please continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, with an Advocacy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Contact: PR@afsp.org

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