WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Congress approved an Omnibus appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2021, which included the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations (Labor-HHS) and Department of Defense Appropriations bills. Robert Gebbia, Chief Executive Officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation's largest suicide prevention organization, released this statement:
"As an organization dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide, we would like to thank Congress for their work on the latest funding they have awarded to suicide prevention and we urge continued bi-partisan support for addressing this leading cause of death.
Included in the legislation are important funding increases for critical suicide prevention programs, including a $5 million increase for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) (from $19 million to $24 million), a $1.02 million increase to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (from $7.988 million to $9 million), a $2 million increase in suicide prevention at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for suicide prevention efforts (from $10 million to $12 million), as well as increased funding to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for research. We also thank the Appropriations Committees for including important language that encourages greater collaboration and partnership between the NIMH and NIDA and NIAAA to examine the relationship between suicide and substance use disorder, including opioid abuse.
In addition, AFSP applauds the designation for the first time of suicide prevention as a priority research area within the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) at the Department of Defense. The inclusion of suicide prevention in the PRMRP topic list will allow the DoD to prioritize suicide prevention research and will enhance the Department's ability to evaluate current efforts and promote new strategies for suicide prevention for our men and women in uniform. This addition is vital as the suicide rate among adult Veterans is 1.5 times greater than the non-Veteran population.
AFSP commends the Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for their dedication and support for these essential, life-saving programs, especially the leadership of House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK), as well as Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) for their unwavering assistance.
AFSP's over 30,000 volunteer Field Advocates have continued to call their members of Congress to make their voices heard. They are the true heroes making suicide prevention the priority it deserves to be."
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that's smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, with an Advocacy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention