David C. Guth, Jr., CEO of Centerstone, has issued a statement on the Federal Communications Commission’s report on the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018:
“We applaud the Federal Communications Commission for their work over the last year in exploring the feasibility and need for a national three-digit phone line to be designated for suicide prevention and mental health crisis response.
The need for a more accessible line, similar to 9-1-1 for emergencies, to serve as a national suicide prevention number has never been more timely. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. for those between the ages of 10 and 34. While 9-1-1 is a ubiquitous part of our nation’s emergency response system, the current responsibility for that line to handle mental health and suicide crises creates confusion, and often delays, during people’s most difficult moments.
That’s why a simple, easy-to-remember three-digit number for suicide and mental health crises will enable those in need to immediately connect with appropriate services – a critical step in reversing the trend of a 33% increase in suicide during the last two decades.
To accomplish this, we now call upon Congress to enact legislation to designate a unique, easy-to-remember number to better serve those experiencing a mental health crisis; doing so will move us closer to breaking down the barriers of stigma associated with seeking help and curb many preventable tragedies.”
David C. Guth, Jr., CEO of Centerstone
Over the past year, Centerstone has met with Congressional offices on this topic, submitted comments to the FCC, and on July 29th met with FCC Chairman Pai to discuss the urgent need for this line.