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Hope In Action: Policymakers and Artists Promote Youth and Latino Suicide Prevention
Date:3/12/2008

Celebrating passage of Mental Health Parity on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Kristin Brooks Hope Center, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) with the Mental Health Liaison Group will hold a press conference, "Hope In Action," on Capitol Hill in room B369 Rayburn House Office Building. It will highlight the passage of The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, an important civil rights victory that begins to end the blatant discriminatory practices of private insurance companies who have applied arbitrary limits on what mental health and addictions treatment diagnoses would be covered, and further placed discriminatory limits on the types and lengths of services provided. This celebration occurs as the Kristin Brooks Hope Center celebrates the ten year anniversary of its suicide prevention hotline, 1-800-SUICIDE , which to date has answered more three million calls from individuals in crisis and is credited for directly saving more than 5,000 lives.

The March 12 press conference will emphasize that the battle for full equity for individuals with behavioral health disorders is far from over as the beginning of 1-800-SUICIDA is launched. This suicide prevention hotline will provide hope for millions of Spanish speaking individuals by providing suicide prevention counseling and provide community referrals for behavioral health and other supportive services in Spanish.

The special needs of youths will also be emphasized with a call for full funding of the Garret Lee Smith Memorial Act. This legislation, signed into law on October 21, 2004, created a program within Health And Human Services to enhance suicide prevention efforts at the state and local level and on college campuses. "This year, members of Congress are calling for 48.8 million for the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act programs in the Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations bill" said Reese Butler, founder of 1-800-SUICIDE. "Congress must
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SOURCE The Kristin Brooks Hope Center; Mental Health LiaisonGroup
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