Letter to the Editor: Ask Congress to prioritize suicide prevention legislation and policies

In this time of uncertainty, it is especially important to take care of our mental health.

That is why, on June 22, I will be taking part in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s virtual 2020 Advocacy Forum. As part of the event, I, along with thousands of advocates across the country, will be reaching out to members of Congress to urge their support of the suicide-prevention legislation and policies that we know can save lives.

I will be asking for:

  • Increased federal funding for suicide research.
  • Continued support for suicide-prevention programs and resources for veterans and service members.
  • Passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (House Resolution 4194/Senate 2661), making “988” the future, easy-to-remember phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

It is my hope that one fewer family will have to experience the anguish we do, each day, after the loss of our 24-year-old son, Alex.

Join me by contacting your members of Congress and asking them to support these policies and by visiting https://www.afsp.org/advocacy to learn more about AFSP’s advocacy and how you can make an impact in your community.

Together, we are saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.

Barbara Szewczyk
Newark