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The National Voice of Clinical Social Work 

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CSWA – Legislative Alert: National Suicide Hotline Designation Act – 9-19-20

15 Sep 2020 12:08 PM | CSWA Administrator (Administrator)

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. The pandemic has increased anxiety, fear, isolation and grief, leading to declining mental health and increased substance use in our communities that will only continue to get worse.

In July, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made the historic announcement that it had unanimously voted to designate 9-8-8 as the universal three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

Unfortunately, the bipartisan, non-controversial National Suicide Hotline Designation Act is stalled in Congress, putting at risk the promise that this easy-to-access, three-digit dialing code for the life-saving services 9-8-8 could provide.

To date, the House and Senate have each approved similar, but not identical, bills establishing 9-8-8 as the dialing code and supporting the new hotline by establishing a funding mechanism through states and wireless phone carriers. But that legislation is not yet over the finish line. Without this bill becoming law, our communities will not be able to respond to the increasing demand for needed suicide prevention services.

CSWA urges you to call all your Members of Congress by tomorrow to help pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. Go to to get their emails or phone numbers and leave the following message: “I am a member of the Clinical Social Work Association and a constituent. Please pass the National Suicide Hotline Prevention Act and save lives.  The pandemic and other natural disasters have increased the number of citizens who have hopeless helpless feelings leading to suicidal thoughts.  They need ways to access mental health treatment which the over 250,000 clinical social workers can provide.”

Thanks for your help.  As always, let me know when you have sent your messages.

Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice, Government Relations Chair
Clinical Social Work Association
The National Voice of Clinical Social Work

Strengthening IDENTITY | Preserving INTEGRITY | Advocating PARITY

PO Box 10
Garrisonville, Virginia  22463

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