National Suicide Prevention Week

9/10 Monday - Crisis Lines
9/11 Tuesday -
Research Funding
9/12 Wednesday -
Veteran and Service Member Suicide Prevention
9/13 Thursday -
Mental Health Parity
Suicide Resoucre Guide
Suicide Watch (free monthly update of suicide related issues.) 

Crisis Lines

Crisis Text Line, 741741

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or 1-800-273-8255, is a nationwide network of local, free, and confidential crisis call centers that provide 24/7 support for individuals in suicidal or emotional distress. This year, more than 75% of the Lifeline's crisis centers received flat funding or had their funding reduced, resulting in local centers having to shut their doors at a time when they are needed the most. A recent CDC report shows that suicide rates are continuing to increase across the country - in half of states, suicide rates have increased more than 30% since 1999. Increased funding for the Lifeline is therefore critical to ensure these lifesaving centers stay open, are properly staffed, and have the capacity to respond to increasing demand for their services.

TAKE ACTION by contacting your elected officials about increasing crisis line funding. Tell them how important crisis lines are and how access to suicide prevention resources will save lives.

Research Funding

Suicide prevention research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has been flat funded at less than 40 million dollars for the past several years, despite rising suicide rates across the United States. There is no single cause of suicide, and suicide risk increases when several health factors and life stressors converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. To know who is most at risk and to prevent suicide, scientists need to understand the role of long-term factors, such as childhood experiences, as well as more immediate factors like mental health and recent life events. A down payment of 150 million dollars to NIMH would allow for further investigation into the circumstances surrounding suicide and effective prevention and intervention methods and is a necessary investment for us to make major progress in lowering the national suicide rate.

TAKE ACTION by urging your elected officials to increase funding for suicide prevention research at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Veteran and Service Member Suicide Prevention

We must support and protect those who defend our country, including doing everything we can to prevent Service member and Veteran suicide. Alarmingly, Veterans comprise almost 20% of all suicides in the United States, and we continue to lose an average of 20 Veterans a day to suicide. Service members and Veterans may possess unique protective factors related to their service, such as resilience or a strong sense of belonging to a unit, but they may also possess risk factors related to their military service, such as service-related injury or a recent transition from military service to civilian life. Seeking help is a sign of strength, and our Service members and Veterans are entitled to convenient, quality care that too many are currently not receiving.

TAKE ACTION by contacting your elected officials to urge their continued support for Service member and Veteran suicide prevention programs and services and access to mental health care.

Mental Health Parity

On October 3, 2018, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. This legislation sought to equalize insurance coverage for physical and mental health care services for people employed by large companies with 50 or more employees. The subsequent passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 made mental health services an "essential health benefit" for millions of Americans not previously covered by the 2008 parity law. Despite enactment of these 2 laws, mental health parity is still not a reality for many Americans. Federal and state regulators must ensure that equal access to mental health and substance use coverage is realized and that insurance companies comply with existing federal and state parity requirements.

TAKE ACTION by contacting your elected officials today to remind them that equal access to mental health and substance use services saves lives.