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Trump signs Hatch, Stewart suicide prevention hotline bill



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SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump signed a bill Tuesday that two Utah Republicans pushed to create a three-digit telephone number similar to 911 for the national suicide prevention hotline.

Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Chris Stewart were among lawmakers who introduced the legislation in May 2017.

The bill aims to reform the suicide prevention lifeline system and Veterans Crisis Line by requiring the Federal Communications Commission — working with the Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs — to study the system and make recommendations to Congress on how to improve it.

Hatch said he's grateful the legislation was signed into law.

"With this topic, my heart is both heavy and hopeful — heavy because suicide has already taken so many lives, hopeful because this legislation can turn the tide in the campaign against this epidemic," he said.

Stewart called it a great day for Utah and the nation.

"By creating a hotline dialing code that is short and easy to remember, we are taking an important step towards potentially averting tragedy," he said. "This new law truly has the ability to save lives."

Suicide Prevention Resources
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Crisis Hotlines

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

Online resources

More Suicide Prevention Resources

Warning signs of suicide

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes a suicide. Information from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

What to do if you see warning signs of suicide

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
Information from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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Dennis Romboy

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