WASHINGTON – Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) released a statement Monday after the House of Representatives voted to pass the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act.
Hatch and Rep. Christ Stewart (R-UT) introduced the legislation last May, and, “has been working with House leaders to advance the bill to a vote,” a statement released by Hatch’s office said.
Hatch released the following statement following the passing of the bill:
“I believe that by making the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline system more user-friendly and accessible, we can save thousands of lives by helping people find the help they need when they need it most. Every minute we wait, we leave helpless hundreds of Americans who are struggling with suicidal thoughts. There are literally lives on the line here—and leaving them on hold is not an option. I’m pleased that the House has at long last taken action to move this legislation.”
The passing of legislation comes after Utah created a Suicide Task Force in an attempt to combat the state’s high suicide rates.
“Every nine minutes someone commits suicide in the US and for every suicide-related death, there are twenty-five attempts,” Stewart said. “These are truly heartbreaking statistics and sadly they hit close to home. Utah ranks fifth for the highest suicide deaths in the US. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline Improvement Act is a bipartisan and commonsense piece of legislation that has the ability to save lives.”
The National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act will connect callers directly to trained crisis workers. Hatch called the act, “a first step in helping those contemplating suicide.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional resources. You can also download the SafeUT app for instant, confidential crisis services.