H.R. 2345 would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in consultation with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to study and report on the feasibility of designating a three-digit dialing code to be used for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system. In conducting this study, the FCC would be directed to consider each of the current N11 designations, to consult with the North American Numbering Council (NANC), and consult with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with respect to how well the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is working to address the needs of veterans.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Aug 15, 2018.
National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018 (Sec. 3) This bill requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to coordinate with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a study that: (1) examines the feasibility of designating a three-digit dialing code (N11 dialing code) for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system; and (2) analyzes the effectiveness of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) as of the date on which the study is initiated, including how well it addresses the needs of veterans.
To assist the FCC in conducting the study, SAMHSA shall analyze and report to the FCC on: (1) the potential impact of such designation of a dialing code on suicide prevention, crisis services, and other suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotlines; and (2) possible recommendations for improving the NSPL generally. The VA shall study and report to the FCC on how well the NSPL and the Veterans Crisis Line are working to address the needs of veterans.
The FCC, in coordination with SAMHSA and the VA, shall report on the study to specified congressional committees.
(Sec. 4) No additional funds are authorized to carry out this bill.