Washington, D.C. – Monday, during National Suicide Awareness Month, Alaska Congressman Don Young helped the House of Representatives pass S. 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. This landmark legislation requires the Federal Communications Commission to designate 9–8–8 as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention hotline. Congressman Young has been a long-time supporter of creating a national suicide hotline, and is a cosponsor of similar House legislation. This bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“Too many families in Alaska and across the country have lost a loved one to suicide. Tragically, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for individuals aged 18-34, and suicides are on the rise across nearly every demographic group across the nation,” said Congressman Don Young. “We must be doing all that we can to turn the tide in the fight against suicide, and raise awareness of a tragedy that all too often goes unnoticed. I am very proud to have supported the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, and call on President Trump to swiftly sign it into law. The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the need for mental health services. The isolation caused by this pandemic has intensified fear, anger, and grief, and without action, things will only get worse. The creation of a national suicide hotline is historic, and it is my great hope that the numbers 9-8-8 will one day become as easily utilized as 9-1-1. I know Alaska to be a place where we care for one another, and I encourage you to make an effort to check in on your friends and family, so that we can help stop a tragedy before it happens. I want to thank my friends in the House and Senate and on both sides of the aisle for supporting this critical legislation that will undoubtedly save many lives.”