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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Thanks Congress for Dedicating Resources to the Fight for Suicide Prevention

28 Sep 2018 — 3 min read

BY AFSP

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Turning Research into Solutions: College Students and Mental Health

WASHINGTON (SEPTEMBER 28, 2018) -- On Friday, September 28, President Donald Trump signed the FY19 Labor HHS and Education Appropriations Bill. John Madigan, senior vice president of public policy for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, released this statement thanking Congressional leadership, the president and our AFSP Field Advocates:

“As the nation’s largest organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, we would like to thank Congress for their work on the latest funding they have awarded to suicide prevention. Included in this appropriations bill is a $4.8M increase in funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK), increased funding to National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Grants, specifically grants for American Indian/Alaskan Native suicide prevention efforts, and increased funding to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for research. At AFSP we commend the appropriations language calling for research that will produce models that are interpretable, scalable, and practical for clinical implementation, including mental and behavioral health care interventions that will help reduce the suicide rate.

We would like to thank Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) for their leadership in proposing an amendment for increased funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In the end, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will receive $12 million for FY 2019 – an amount that will help the Lifeline meet their increasing demand. In addition, we thank Reps. José Serrano (D-NY), John Delaney (D-MD), John Faso (R-NY), and Chris Stewart (R-UT) who fought for increased funding for mental health programs.

AFSP’s 20,000 volunteer Field Advocates have continued to call their members of Congress and make their voices heard. They are the true heroes making suicide prevention the priority it deserves to be. Through their efforts on the front line we are able to continue our lifesaving work.

We would like to thank the appropriations leaders in the Senate, Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Vice Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and House of Representatives, Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), and the co-chairs of the House Labor-H Appropriations Subcommittee, Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and co-chairs of the Senate Appropriations Labor-H Subcommittee Chairs, Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA) for their work in ensuring that the bill was passed through bipartisan efforts.

Lastly, we would like to thank our Congressional leadership for their work, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as well as President Trump for signing this important legislation.”

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: Alexis O’Brien, 347-826-3577, aobrien@afsp.org

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