Everyone knows the three numbers that can save somebody’s life, 911, but suicide prevention is a little harder to remember: 1-800-273-TALK. The rapper Logic certainly helped with his hit song, 1-800-273-8255, putting the number in the national consciousness, but there are now efforts to make it easier to call suicide prevention if needed.
As CNN reports, a number that’s easier to remember could help a lot of despondent people who aren’t sure where to turn. Senator Orrin Hatch has said, “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.”
Today you can text Lifeline, but a three digit number could help in getting a lot people in touch with help when they need it. As CNN continues, a new bill “would require the Federal Communications Commission to work with the Health and Human Services Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the existing system and suggest ways to improve it – and recommend a new three-digit number.”
As one representative says, “The National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act works to streamline and provide easy access to potentially life-saving resources.” Another problem is the current hotlines are a bit overwhelmed, and a bigger budget would be good. As this report states, there can be a“de-escalation of risk of suicide” as much as 76% when people call in and start talking, and it’s certainly well worth it to give this system more support, as well as an easier number to remember. As an executive at Lifeline notes, even a one or a two-year-old kid knows how to dial 911 when something is wrong, and if a simple number can save someone’s life, it would be a great boon to mental health.
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