The government kills the suicide hotline
by Caleb Reading
The government has withheld from the National Suicide Hotline $266,000 previously-allocated funds for the past two years because the hotline won’t hand over health records that have always remained confidential in the past. This is just sick.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD – BEFORE OUR GOVERNMENT SUFFOCATES THE NATION’S LARGEST PRIVATE & COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL HELP SYSTEM.
1-800-SUICIDE is in danger of being shut off or worse falling into the hands of the Federal Government. With teenage suicide being the 3rd leading cause of death between 18 to 24 year olds – our government should not be duplicating prevention efforts but helping fund the many local organizations and non-profits with proven track records on prevention. In addition our government should not be in the business having access to this private and sensitive information!
No other crisis hotline is owned by the federal government! Read more…
Despite the fact that almost 2 million callers have reached help and hope over the last 8 years, and a government funded evaluation stating the benefits of 1-800-SUICIDE, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), a division of Health & Human Services, has decided to create their own government run system where they would have direct access to confidential data on individuals in crisis.
To protect the callers to suicide crisis hotlines the management of 1-800-SUICIDE has refused to turn over the control of the National Hopeline Network to the SAMHSA. As a result it is in danger of being completely shut off to the almost 2,000 individuals in crisis who reach out daily because our government has not only ended all funding but also continues to owe $266,000 in overdue bills to the Hopeline from 2 years ago. (This is not new funds – but money that was already allocated!).