Suicide Hotline in Trouble Again
Another title could be how the Government Grinch stole the hotline.
However, there\’s nothing funny or cartoon like about what\’s going on.
Below is the press release from Scott Goodstein, a friend and colleague of
mine who is working with KBHC, the Kristin Brooks Hope Center, which I\’ve
written about before.
According to Scott, HHS is filing
with the FCC to take over KBHC this week, while journalists, politicians and
everyone else is getting ready to take off on Christmas holiday. KBHC is a non-profit
NGO that is a working crisis center, but now the government wants to seize it while no one is looking.
For Immediate Release:
Reese Butler KBHC 202-669-8500/
Scott Goodstein, Save 1800 Suicide 202-518-8332
Federal Government Hopes Santa Gives Over Suicide Hotline for Xmas
Washington, DC – With only a few days left before Xmas, hours left in Michael
Leavitt\’s term as head of Health & Human Services and minutes left in
Eric Broderick’s term as head of SAMHSA- the Federal Government is working
hard to overtake one of the most successful crisis-prevention not-for-profit
networks, The 1-800-SUICIDE Network.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency (SAMHSA) a division of Health
& Human Services (HHS) quietly filed with the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) on December 13th, 2006 to pull the private lines held by KBHC/1-800-SUICIDE.
This underhanded grab at these lines is taking place after two years of private
communication and months of public debate ending with a commitment from SAMHSA
to review and pay 1-800 SUICIDE\’s claim on August 25th, 2006.
However, instead of paying for KBHC services, both SAMHSA & HHS submitted
request to the FCC to simply take over the lines!
SAMHSA should be funding desperately needed training instead of wasting resources
building a competing network.\” stated Reese Butler, founder of KBHC/800
Suicide and architect of the network that connects over 30,000 individuals
to crisis centers each month.
1. The federal government to pay
and settle KBHCs pending claim.
2. The federal government to keep
crisis callers information completely private.
3. SAMHSA to stop competing
against, but working with 1800SUICIDE.
4. For HHS\’ Michael Leavitt to
retract his letter to the FCC and investigate why his organization never
solved the claim.
5. For Eric Broderick,
head of SAMHSA, to solve the mess he created before he resigns.
\”With the Xmas season underway and school finals occurring,
I can not believe that SAMHSA is sneaking around behind our backs and negotiating
in bad faith with the very agency that created the hotline and network.”
Butler stated, “For two years SAMHSA told us we did not even have a
right to file the claim. It was not until after thousands of supporters became
engaged did they agree to settle – and now they have backed down on this commitment
Learn more: Visit 1-800-SUICIDE
to contact the federal government and ask them to stop trying to suffocate
If you can possibly help, please take the time to make a phone call or get
involved. It\’s important to so many people who rely on 1-800-SUICIDE.