In an effort to help save lives and assist people in crisis, the U.S. Senate today unanimously approved an amendment by U.S. Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Jack Reed (D-RI) to increase funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by an additional $2.8 million for a total of $10 million.
The amendment (#3703) to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act was approved 95-0.
Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, says these new federal funds will help individuals in crisis or their concerned loved ones connect with needed assistance in a timely manner.
“Today, the Senate came together and provided a message of hope, assistance, and recovery and expanded resources to help boost suicide prevention efforts. We must do everything we can to keep the lines of communication open for anyone who is experiencing a serious crisis and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a proven record of saving lives,” said Senator Reed.
Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control reported in June that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and that nearly 45,000 people took their lives in 2016. From 1999 to 2016, suicide rates rose by 34 percent in Rhode Island.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline may be accessed online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org or on the phone at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Rhode Islanders in need may also call the Samaritan’s 24-Hour Confidential Hotline/Listening Line (800-365-4044), which is staffed with trained volunteers to help callers of all ages who are hopeless, alone, suicidal or seeking information to help a family member or friend.