Sinema urges Congressional leadership to include the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act in future coronavirus response legislation
PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema urged Congressional leadership to include the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which designates “988” as a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline, in future coronavirus legislation.
“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic exacerbates the national mental health and suicide crisis. Ensuring Arizonans have access to a three digit suicide hotline will help save lives as we battle the coronavirus outbreak,” said Sinema.
Sinema is a cosponsor of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which passed the Senate Commerce Committee last year. The bipartisan bill designates a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline, including a Veterans Crisis Line for veteran-specific mental health support. The existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (reachable at 1-800-273-8255) answers over 2 million crises annually, but the new easy-to-remember 988 number will be able to save more lives. The bill also ensures the 988 number and call centers have the necessary resources.
Read Sinema’s letter HERE.
Sinema has been holding regular calls with Arizona mayors and county officials, non-profit leaders, small business owners, and first responders about the coronavirus and related relief efforts. Last week, Sinema announced she will serve on the White House task force focused on economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The task force is comprised of a bipartisan group of Senators and members of the House of Representatives, and will provide counsel to the administration on the re-opening of American businesses and employers.
In the recent Congressionally-approved coronavirus package, Sinema helped secure $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion for smaller, disadvantaged businesses, $60 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and grants, $75 billion for health care providers, and $25 billion for testing, including $11 billion directly to states. Sinema also helped secure a number of priorities in the sweeping coronavirus-response CARES Act law, including a $150 billion relief fund for state, local, and Tribal governments, $55 billion more in investments in hospitals and health care workers, and an increase in unemployment benefits. Sinema also recently wrote an op-ed outlining Arizona needs she is working to include in the next coronavirus-response legislation.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.