NAADAC is proud to endorse the Barriers To Suicide Act. This bipartisan legislation was re-introduced to the 117th Congress by U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and John Katko (R-NY), the co-chairs of the House Suicide Prevention Task Force, and Grace Napolitano (D-CA), founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus in late January 2021.
Suicide ranks as the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and substance use disorders (SUDs) are associated with an increase in the likelihood and severity of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, as well as suicide attempts and deaths (SAMHSA, 2021).
The Barriers To Suicide Act would create grants for state and local governments to fund nets and barriers on bridges, which have been shown to reduce suicide. Project funding would also be made explicitly eligible under two existing programs: the Surface Transportation Block Grant and the National Highway Performance Program. It would also authorize a study to identify additional strategies to reduce jumping deaths.
NAADAC has joined with other stakeholders to support this legislation, as identified by Representative Beyer's office.