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AG Curtis Hill applauds passage of National Suicide Hotline Designation Act

SOURCE: News release from Office of Indiana Attorney General

Attorney General Curtis Hill today applauded the passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which assigns the three-digit number 988 as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The legislation was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Oct. 17, and the number is set to go into effect nationwide by mid-2022.

“A three-digit number is easier for people to remember than a 1-800 number,” Attorney General Hill said. “That’s why we have 911, and that’s why we’re seeing this very worthwhile move to a new suicide hotline.”

Callers also will be able to continue reaching the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

“So many families in Indiana and across the nation are touched by the tragedy of suicide,” Attorney General Hill said. “We must all work together to better address mental health issues in this country, and this bipartisan legislation is part of that effort.”

Attorney General Hill is among several state attorneys general serving as ambassadors for The Jason Foundation, a national organization known as a leader in preventing youth suicide.

More than 48,000 American lives were lost to suicide in 2018, according to the foundation. Across all ages, suicide rates are at the highest they have been since World War II. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the United States for youth ages 10 to 24, accounting for approximately 130 lives lost each week in this age group. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free resource available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. It is operated by a national network of over 150 local crisis centers.

“In times of need, one may not be able to recall a 1-800 number,” said Brett Marciel, spokesman for The Jason Foundation. “The hope is, that in times of distress, a three-digit code will be easier to remember. We have supported this legislation since its inception and are always in favor of making resources more available to the public.”

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