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'9-8-8': House of Representatives passes Baldwin's reform for 3-digit suicide hotline

Posted at 10:48 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 11:48:35-04

WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed Senator Tammy Baldwin's reform for a national three-digit crisis and suicide hotline.

Senator Baldwin's bipartisan reform passed the House Tuesday, with the three-digit hotline established as 9-8-8.

According to a press release from Senator Baldwin, this legislation will help ensure states have the flexibility to strengthen local crisis call centers and save lives.

"In America, we lose about 45,000 people every year to suicide, including more than 6,100 veterans, making it one of the leading causes of death in this country,” said Senator Baldwin. “We need to do everything we can to prevent suicide and that means improving the tools we have to help people who are suffering from depression or other mental health concerns."

The current national suicide and crisis hotline is 10 digits long which can be a barrier to American's seeking help. With the new hotline, those in crisis can simply dial 9-8-8 for help.

Additionally, veterans will be able to dial 1 after dialing 9-8-8 to be connected to the veteran's crisis hotline. According to a press release, on average, 17 veterans commit suicide every day.

"I’m very proud our bipartisan legislation has passed the House of Representatives so we can make it as quick and easy as possible for Americans in crisis to get the help and support they need through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line," said Senator Baldwin.

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