Lawmakers look at the 988 Suicide Prevention Bill

Updated: Feb. 13, 2023 at 7:00 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - On Monday committees focused on the 988 suicide prevention.

The 988 Suicide Prevention Bill just got a shot in the arm by lawmakers on Monday.

The bill just passed the Senate Labor Health and Social Service Committee three to two and goes to the general file in the senate.

Lawmakers are looking to codify best practices and financial infrastructures for these hotline centers.

As well as add emergency care teams as a component of the bill.

”There’s no words to express how much of a need this is for Wyoming. To be able to have a 24 hour in-state hotline that anyone can access including adolescents through the text feature is going to be a huge foundational component to our mental health infrastructure,” said Lindsay Simineo, Wyoming Counseling Association.

The bill would not only help the state with the highest suicide rate in the nation, but also the communities that are hardest hit.

“Especially in rural communities, our agricultural constituencies have almost as high a suicide rates as our first responders and military,” said Cindy DeLancey the President of the Wyoming Business Alliance.

State and business officials say this is an important issue to address for Wyoming’s success.

”This puts a means in place for future years when there is funding that we’ll be able to keep that funding going and keep that funding which is extremely important.”

Experts say this bill is asking for around $2.1M in funding during next year’s budget session, and these call centers have existed since Aug. of 2020.

The bill needs to get voted through the senate three more times before it hits the Governor’s desk and can become law.