NAMI News

“9-8-8” Bill Passes Congress!

9/22/2020

On Monday, Sept. 21, NAMI celebrated the passage of S. 2661: the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020. The bill establishes the plan to implement a universal three-digit number, 9-8-8, for mental health crises and suicide prevention. This number has the potential to save lives when every second counts.
 
The bill will now head to the President to be signed into law. The Federal Communications Commission has stated that this it will become operational by July 2022. To help communities prepare, S. 2661 also permits states to impose fees that will allow for timely and well-trained crisis response.
 
“The need for 9-8-8 is urgent. Without appropriate care, people with mental illness end up on our streets, in jails and in emergency departments — and dying in tragic encounters with law enforcement,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., NAMI CEO. “Thanks to today’s vote, we are making progress toward ensuring people in crisis get help, not handcuffs.”

Read NAMI’s statement.
 
Everyone likes a “thank you.” NAMI encourages all advocates to send an email to their U.S. Representatives thanking them for passing S. 2661.
 
Important Note: The three-digit number will not be operational until July 2022. If you are experiencing a crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “NAMI” to 741741.