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NAMI is thrilled by the introduction of H.R. 4194, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. The bill directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to designate 9-8-8 as the 3-digit dialing code for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. This would make it easier for Americans experiencing a crisis to receive immediate and appropriate mental health support and referral.

A strong crisis response system is an essential part of every community’s strategy for mental health intervention and suicide prevention. When someone is experiencing a mental health crisis an immediate and effective response can be the difference between life and death. A 24/7 crisis hotline is the gateway to any crisis system and is a core service that should be available in every community.

The bipartisan bill is currently awaiting a vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. On Sept.17, NAMI sent a letter to the committee encouraging them to prioritize consideration of H.R. 4194. Still, more efforts are needed to demonstrate the importance of this legislation — and we need your help.

Contact your member of Congress. Ask them to cosponsor H.R. 4194, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act.