COLUMBUS— Rep. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) yesterday introduced legislation that would provide, permanent, stable, and viable long-term funding for Ohio’s recently implemented 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This would ensure compliance with the federal National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020.
“This bill will save lives and create a pathway to wellness,” said Rep. Miller. “No one should feel left without somewhere to turn for help when it comes to suicide. The 9-8-8 system ensures anyone with thoughts of suicide, or families, friends, coworkers, or loved ones of that person, have somewhere to turn for help.”
According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, there are 132 suicides per day, making suicide the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. Rates are even higher among veterans and other at risk communities.
That is why Congress created the 9-8-8 program. The hotline is staffed by crisis call centers throughout the state. The crisis call centers are supported by mobile crisis teams, which enable licensed mental health service providers to respond to mental health emergencies in place of or in conjunction with law enforcement. It provides those in mental health crises with the specialized support they need, while saving police departments valuable time and money.
The legislation implements the federal 9-8-8 Program ensuring permanent funding for the program so anyone needing help can get it whenever they need it.
The bill now awaits referral to a House committee.