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Letters: Legislators Must Fund the 988 Suicide Prevention Line

Dear Editor:

May is Mental Health Month. By urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention, mental health, and crisis care, I am hoping to influence collective change to support #MentalHealth4All.

Right now, individuals in crisis are able to call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress and those that care for them.

Soon, it will be much easier to remember how to reach the Lifeline as the number will be changing to “988” nationwide by July 2022.

Knowing this, it is critically important that states pass legislation NOW to reliably fund 988 and their state’s crisis response system, just as we fund 911 and emergency services – through small fees on our phone bills.

Reliable funding will help to ensure all 988 callers can reach a counselor in their own state who is familiar with and can connect them with local resources. Culturally competent support and local connections can better help all callers through their crisis and in their recovery.

Suicide Prevention is important,  to lose someone is devastating and can be prevented.  We wish to stop as may Deaths by Suicide as possible, so no other family member has to feel a loss like that.

Join us this month in urging your public officials to fund 988. We all play a role in changing the culture around mental health. Together, we can ensure #MentalHealth4All.


Tanya Eagles-Adams, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745-6207

Amber Johnson, Whittier, CA 90603-3158

Cindy Bowman Lake Forest, CA 92630-5551

Clarissa Henry Long Beach, CA 90805-2419

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