SALT LAKE CITY — A bill two Utah Republicans pushed to create a three-digit telephone number — similar to 911 — for the national suicide prevention hotline is headed to the president's desk.
Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Chris Stewart were among lawmakers who introduced the legislation in May 2017. The Senate passed it last November before the House approved a slightly amended version last week. The Senate unanimously passed the amended bill Wednesday.
"This bipartisan proposal is a lifeline for those experiencing suicidal thought," Hatch said. "With this bill, we can prevent countless tragedies and help thousands of men and women get the help they so desperately need."
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.