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Higgins Announces Approval of Bipartisan Bills Aimed at Suicide Prevention

May 13, 2021
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the passage of several bipartisan bills that aim to improve suicide prevention initiatives for Americans through outreach, education, and treatment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic placed public health, including mental health, at the forefront. Quarantine, social distancing and required isolation added pressures to already challenging circumstances," said Congressman Higgins. "There is no shame in receiving mental health treatment. These bills will help provide essential resources to those who need it, and support the healthcare workers who are providing these critical services."

The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives:

H.R. 2981, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act – increases funding from $12 million to $50 million annually through 2024 for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a national network of centers, which includes Crisis Services in Western New York. The legislation also supports efforts to reach more people in new ways including through social media, texting, and email platforms.

H.R. 2862, the Campaign to Prevent Suicide Act – authorizes $10 million annually through 2026 toward outreach efforts aimed at preventing suicide through education and increased awareness of resources including a new 9-8-8 suicide prevention hotline set for implementation in 2022.

H.R. 1324, the Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act – assists those at risk of suicide by providing resources to improve the capacity of hospitals to identify and connect at risk patients in emergency departments with mental health and treatment services.

H.R. 1260, the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act – establishes a grant program for trauma centers and nonprofits to create and expand intervention or prevention programs that work to assist in cases of intentional violent trauma. A House Energy and Commerce Committee report noted among those who survive violent trauma, 45 percent will experience a second trauma and those caught in this cycle of violence have a 20 percent higher 5-year mortality rate. 

H.R. 2955, the Suicide Prevention Act – provides grants to help hospital emergency departments detect and treat patients at-risk of self-harm, and grants local governments to support data collection and reporting.

H.R. 1205, the Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act – increases the ability for emergency departments to provide follow-up psychiatric services for patients who arrive in need of care for acute mental health episodes.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, Crisis Services is available to help: 716-834-3131.

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