September is Suicide Prevention Month. The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act can go a long way in preventing pain and tragedy.

Congress passed the act last week. It just needs the President’s signature to become official.

The act will designate 9-8-8 as the universal telephone number for the purpose of the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system.

The act establishes rules that all telephone service providers direct 988 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.

This can’t happen soon enough. With every suicide prevented, the act will have worked wonders.

The current 24/7 number is 800-273-8255.

Consider this: There are 129 suicides per day in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

That’s between five and six suicides an hour — absolutely shocking and devastating.

The legislation will also allow states to supply resources to the hotline, including specialized services for vulnerable populations (LGBTQ youth, minorities, veterans and those in rural areas among those groups).

The new three-digit number will quickly become recognizable. People can access mental health help rapidly and at any time.

There is entirely too much depression, which leads to suicidal thoughts, in this world today. A three-digit hotline will allow families, friends and those directly affected by mental-health monsters to access effective help before it’s too late.

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