Lawmaker Says Money Will Be Earmarked For State Suicide Hotline
North Carolina lawmakers are reassuring mental health advocates that there will be money available to fund the state Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Federal funding for the hotline runs out July 1st.
North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services has been relying on federal mental health grants to fund the Lifeline program, which is run out of a Greenville-based call center.
But policy changes were made affecting how states are allowed to use those grants.
And legislators neglected to address the issue in the latest version of the state budget.
State Representative Nelson Dollar tells the News and Observer that lawmakers have identified funding for the suicide hotline, and that it will be included in a “technical corrections bill.” Dollar declined to get into specifics, but said that the program “absolutely will be funded.”
His comments came shortly after the high-profile deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, reportedly by suicide.
A new study by the Centers for Disease Control says that suicide rates are up in North Carolina, but that the rate of increase is among the smallest in the country.
Help is available from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.