WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed the 21st Century Cures Act which contains provisions of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016, H.R. 2646. The U.S. Senate voted on December 7, 2016, to pass legislation which contains provisions of the Mental Health Reform Act, H.R. 2646 and S.2680. Now the legislation is headed to President Obama's desk for his signature. John Madigan, Vice President of Public Policy at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation's largest suicide prevention organization, today released this statement:
"We applaud Congress for passing the 21st Century Cures Act. This legislation is a great step in the right direction. Within the legislation there are many provisions that will bring critical resources to the fight to prevent suicide. The legislation includes $6.3 billion for new funding of medical research at NIH, as well appropriating $1 billion over two years in opioid addiction and treatment programs. In addition it will create a new position of Assistant Secretary for Mental Health, and reauthorizes key mental health and suicide prevention programs such as the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. On behalf of AFSP we'd like to thank Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) for their leadership in getting the bill passed.
Suicide is our nation's tenth leading cause of death, so we are encouraged that our nation's leaders are taking specific steps to address this major public health issue. There are six key provisions within the legislation we are glad made it into the final draft, because of their significant contribution to the fight to #StopSuicide including:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Program (codifies into law)
- Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization
- Adult Suicide Prevention
- Sense of Congress on prioritizing American Indians and Alaska Native youth within suicide prevention programs
- Children's Recovery from Trauma
- Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Promotion, Intervention, and Treatment
I would also like to thank the over 8,000 AFSP volunteer advocates from all 50 states who made countless phone calls, emails and visits to their members of Congress voicing their support of this legislation. They are proof that voters really can make a difference in Washington."
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that's smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention