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September 25, 2020

Trone Applauds Passage of Five Suicide Prevention Bills on House Floor




Trone Applauds Passage of Five Suicide Prevention Bills on House Floor


WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative David Trone (MD-06) applauded the passage of five suicide prevention bills on the House floor, which passed Monday with unanimous bipartisan support.

The five bills focus on preventing suicide by providing support to individuals with mental health conditions. In June, the CDC found that 40% of all adults in the country reported struggling with mental health and substance use amid the COVID-19 pandemic, considerably higher than previous years. Additionally, younger Americans, essential workers, and communities of color reported having disproportionately worse rates of suicidal ideation and substance use. The bills await passage in the Senate before arrival on the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“It’s about time that we start treating mental health with the same importance we treat physical health in this country. These bills are a fantastic step in the right direction,” said Congressman David Trone. “I applaud their passage and I look forward to working with my colleagues to further support Marylanders during this extremely difficult time.”

Further information on the five bills is below: 

S. 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act Of 2020, amends the Communications Act to designate 988 as the universal dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a strategy to help high-risk populations such as LGBTQ+ youth. 

H.R. 1646, the HERO Act, establishes an array of programs to prevent deaths by suicide by public safety officers. These include a grant program for peer-support behavioral health and wellness programs within fire departments and requiring the development of best practices to address instances of PTSD.

H.R. 4564, Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act Of 2020, increases funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, mandates the creation of a pilot program to use new forms of communication (e.g. social media, texting) for suicide prevention efforts, and directs the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a plan to maintain the service.

H.R. 4585, the Campaign to Prevent Suicide Act, requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop, implement, and evaluate a national media campaign focused on suicide prevention. 

H.R. 5619, the Suicide Prevention Act, establishes two grant programs to prevent self-harm and death by suicide. It directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to award grants to state, local, and tribal health departments to expand surveillance of self-harm, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to award grants to hospital emergency departments for programs to prevent suicide attempts among patients after discharge.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Education and Labor, Foreign Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees, where he is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.