Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization Introduced in 113th Congress
On Jan. 23, 2013, the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act (GLSMA) Reauthorization of 2013 (S. 116) was introduced in the U.S. Senate. S. 116 supports suicide prevention programs at the state and tribal level as well as on college campuses. Additionally, it authorizes a national Suicide Prevention Technical Assistance Center.
The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization of 2013 was introduced by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ala. Other original co-sponsors of the bill include: Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Chris Coons, D-Del., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Frank Lautenberg, D.-N.J., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Tom Udall, D-N.M.
This legislation (S. 116) would reauthorize the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act and maintain the Youth Suicide Early Intervention and Prevention Strategies Program for States and Tribes, the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Services and Outreach on Campus Program, and the Suicide Prevention Technical Assistance Center. S. 116 also makes changes to the Campus Program that allow for flexibility in the uses of funds to better meet the diverse, documented and growing needs of students.
More specifically, the legislation allows for funds under the campus program to be used to provide: provision of mental health and substance use disorder services including prevention, promotion of mental health and voluntary screening; the development and implementation of evidence-based and emerging best practices; educational and outreach activities on suicide prevention; and the employment and training of personnel. Additionally, S. 116 provides states and tribes the authorization to develop and implement: early intervention, assessment and treatment services; information and awareness campaigns; tools to evaluate intervention and prevention practices and strategies; and training programs for providers and child care professionals.
The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act currently supports active youth suicide prevention grants in 40 states, 38 tribes or tribal organizations, and 85 institutions of higher education. Unfortunately, suicide is still the second-leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24, and results in more than 4,850 lives lost each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
APA's ED-GRO has supported GLSMA since its inception and was instrumental in developing the Campus Suicide Prevention initiative. ED-GRO staff will continue to meet with senators to strengthen broad bipartisan support for the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization of 2013 in the 113th Congress.