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Contact your Senator to insist on the 3-digit suicide help number

(EDITORIAL) Suicide prevention is literally critical, and right now there are great resources available, but a 3-digit phone number like 911 would be a lifesaver.

suicide prevention

Recently, Senator Ron Wyden wrote a letter to the FCC asking them to designate a a three-digit number that can be used nation-wide to connect those in need with the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

The letter is the most recent action on legislation passed over the summer called H.R.2345 – the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, wherein the government has pledged to make access to the life-saving hotline more accessible by simplifying the process of connecting resources with those who need them.

Senators Orrin Hatch and Congressman Chris Stewart have proposed utilizing the number 6-1-1; its simple, easy-to-remember format would operate similar to how 9-1-1 is universally recognized as a line for emergency situations.

“We believe 611 is a simple, easy-to-remember number and is the best option for the three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline,” they wrote in the letter. “This undertaking is of utmost national importance. This simple change can connect millions of Americans with life-saving resources, including veterans that find themselves in crisis.”

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The brilliance and simplicity of this crucial proposition cannot be overstated: adopting the new number will literally save lives.

And it’s not unreasonable – there was a time when 911 didn’t exist either.

To help keep our government working on this important issue, please reach out to your local legislators and voice your support.

You can contact your Senators by using the US Capital switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or through email or online right here.

The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 or 1-800-273-TALK. We believe that 611 is more universal and easy to remember and understand. It’s time.

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AprilJo Murphy is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of North Texas. She is a writer, editor, and sometimes teacher based in Austin, TX who enjoys getting outdoors with her handsome dog, Roan.

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