Letters to the Editor

Urge public officials to prioritize mental health

September is Suicide Prevention Month and it’s important that we are there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is to #KeepGoing, by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can all learn new ways to help each other save lives.

One action I’m taking is to urge my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health. When someone is in acute crisis, it’s hard for them to think clearly, and even reaching out for help can be a struggle. For this reason, it is vital that Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act to make a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a reality. This legislation will provide the funding and resources needed by crisis centers across the country.

Losing my 16-year-old son nearly 10 years ago completely rocked my life. My wife and I have spent our time honoring his memory by helping others that have lost loved ones and advocating for better mental health access. I hope everyone would consider advocating for this piece of legislation.

In this time of uncertainty, we all need to find new ways to connect and support each other.

Rob Hanson

Mount Vernon

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