Trahan Secures Renewal of Federal Youth Suicide Prevention Act

Lori Trahan addressed supporters in Lowell during her Nov. 6, 2018 victory party. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A youth suicide prevention bill, championed by Congresswoman Lori Trahan was signed into law by President Joe Biden last Friday as part of the year-end omnibus package.

Trahan a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, hailed the passage of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Reauthorization Act.

“As a mom of two young girls, supporting our kids’ mental health has been a top priority for me, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why, alongside a bipartisan coalition of members, I introduced legislation to extend and strengthen key youth suicide prevention programs with a long track record of success,” said Trahan. “With the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act reauthorized, we are ensuring science-backed suicide prevention programs can continue saving lives.”

Renewing the law ensures the continuation and strengthening of community-based youth and young adult suicide prevention efforts that were set to expire this Saturday.

From 2006 to 2015, according to a statement, counties with Garrett Lee Smith initiatives had lower rates of youth suicide for a longer period of time compared to counties without such programs. Counties implementing programs had significantly lower suicide rates for youth and young adults following implementation, which averted an estimated 79,000 suicide attempts.

Trahan originally introduced the legislation with House Republicans Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Young Kim and Democrat Cindy Axne. It was passed in the House in June as part of a larger bipartisan mental health and addiction package, but had stalled in the Senate until its passage last week.

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