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Senator Hassan Leads NH Delegation in Announcing Federal Funding for New Hampshire’s New Suicide Prevention Hotline

Senators Worked to Establish the Hotline and Secure Funding, Which Will Help NH Hire Staff to Ensure the Hotline’s Success

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen, along with Representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, announced $338,302 to New Hampshire to help the state stand up its Suicide Prevention Hotline and related services, which is projected to launch this July. Senators Hassan and Shaheen worked with their colleagues to establish the 9-8-8 hotline and subsequently pushed to secure funding for it in the latest government funding legislation.

“It’s clear that we need more mental health support in the state, which is something that young people often bring up with me,” Senator Hassan said. “I worked with my colleagues to establish this hotline to help people who are struggling more easily connect with a professional who can help. Switching New Hampshire from a 10-digit suicide hotline to a three-digit hotline, which also includes text and chat services, will help ensure that more people can use this critical resource in their time of need. I will continue working to secure additional resources to help bring down youth suicide rates and expand access to important mental health services for Granite Staters.”

“Far too many Granite Staters have experienced mental health challenges during the pandemic, which have been exacerbated by the crisis and put lives in danger. That’s why it’s critical that we ensure life-saving support is within reach for every household – establishing 9-8-8 as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is key to meeting that goal and to improving our public health response,” said Senator Shaheen. “This $338,000 award will make a difference in expanding the capacity and quality of these hotline services. I’m proud to have worked on the legislation that made this hotline possible, and I’ll continue to prioritize policies that strengthen this lifeline and our mental health support system.”

“Granite Staters and Americans across the country — especially children and young adults — are facing mental health challenges at an alarming rate, and we must do more to expand prevention efforts and access to treatment,” said Representative Annie Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “Once it is launched with the help of this federal funding, New Hampshire’s new three-digit suicide hotline will make it easier for Granite Staters who are struggling to connect with someone who can help. The 9-8-8 hotline will also provide crucial chat and text services, making it far more accessible to those in need. I will continue working to ensure our state has the funding and resources necessary to provide mental health support and save lives.”

“After the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health is something we are all thinking more about, especially as it concerns our kids. It’s been two years of loss, isolation, and pain and that doesn't just go away,” said Representative Chris Pappas. “These federal funds will strengthen New Hampshire’s mental health hotline, and I’ll keep fighting for investments like these that will improve our communities’ ability to provide care and support to all.”

New Hampshire’s 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Hotline is set to launch this July through the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and will include both text and chat services. The state is also expected to set up mobile crisis units at community mental health centers that can be deployed to respond to 9-8-8 calls that require an immediate response.

This funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation announced today will go toward hiring a Crisis Center Coordinator to help ensure that the state has a unified and uniform response to calls. The federal funding will also help New Hampshire expand staffing and infrastructure to ensure that the text and chat functionality is successfully implemented, as well help ensure that the 9-8-8 hotline is accessible to diverse populations, including non-English speakers and deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

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