Cory Gardner 9-8-8

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado makes a statement on the 9-8-8 hotline legislation he is sponsoring to create a three-digit number for 24/7 help on suicide prevention and other mental health crises.

While U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is being roasted over siding with the president and other Republicans on  for supporting a Supreme Court justice pick before the Nov. 3 election, the House of Representatives sent his bipartisan suicide prevention bill to the president this week.

The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act to create a 9-8-8 line quietly passed the House without objection Monday. The bill passed the Senate in May.

The suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline now heads to president’s desk, after he signed Gardner's Great American Outdoors Act, a significant public lands bill backed by a number of environmental, in August.

Gardner, a Republican from Yuma, sponsored the bill with Sens. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin; Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas; and Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island.

Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah and Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts carried the legislation across the finish line in the House.

“I’ve held countless meetings and roundtables with families, students, mental health care professionals, law enforcement officials and others to address our state’s mental health needs," after the House passed the bill, Gardner said.

"The tragic fact is we lose a Coloradan to death by suicide every seven hours, and we must keep fighting to provide mental health support to Coloradans in need, particularly in this time of crisis. I applaud the House for approving this bipartisan, commonsense legislation, and I look forward to the President signing it into law in order to save lives.”

The 9-8-8 as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also will include the Veterans Crisis Line, which, like the Colorado crisis line, is 10 digits, to reach trained professionals. Gardner's bill also improves support services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth.

Until the Federal Communications Commission finalizes the technical implementation, however, those  seeking help should still call 1-800-273-8255.

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