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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: June 1, 2023 11:01 AM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey
To: All House members
Subject: Ensuring a Sustainable 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
In July 2022, a new three-digit dialing code was launched for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Anyone, anywhere in the United States can now call, chat, or text 988 and receive supports and resources during a suicide, mental health, or substance use crisis. This transition from the previous Lifeline’s number to the easy-to-remember 3-digit 988 dialing code represents a monumental opportunity to transform the way we as a nation respond to behavioral health crises and meet the rising demand for crisis services.
With 988 available nationwide, it’s now up to states to ensure there are crisis services and crisis stabilization options so 988 callers receive the help they truly need. Therefore, I will be introducing legislation to establish sustainable funding for Pennsylvania’s 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in line with Governor Shapiro’s proposal. This proposed legislation will be similar to how communities fund 911 by creating a monthly fee on all wireless devices to ensure these emergency services will not experience any funding gaps. To protect against fee diversion, my legislation requires 988 fees to be deposited into a dedicated fund that can only be used in support of the 988 crisis response system.
Please consider signing on as a co-sponsor of this legislation to support our 988 call centers and ensure Pennsylvanians in crisis have access to the support they need.

Introduced as HB1305