A ceremonial bill signing this week will feature multiple bills related to mental health and suicide prevention.
One of the eight bills Governor Gary Herbert will sign Tuesday is House Bill 41, or Hannah’s Bill. The bill requires all crisis lines in the state to be available 24/7, or that the lines roll over to other lines.
“I’m grateful that we are moving forward, especially with Hannah’s bill," said Laura Warburton, mother of Hannah Warburton. Hannah committed suicide in 2014 after her call to her therapist went unanswered.
“That’s saying something," Warburton said. "That’s saying that our legislature cares about our children and our adults.”
Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox said all the bills do great things, but that the attached funding is what really shows the legislature’s concern for suicide prevention and mental health.
“The fact that the legislature was willing to say, ‘Okay, we have limited funds, there are a lot of important that we could spend these funds on, but we’re going to give a significant increase in funding for these suicide prevention initiatives.' That to me is the most important piece," Cox said.
Representative Steve Eliason of Sandy sponsored seven of the eight bills. He hopes the bill signing will help the public be more aware of what they can do to prevent suicide.
“Everybody plays a role," Eliason said. "Churches, schools, the government, but so importantly, it’s families, friends and loved ones watching out for those around them.”
Some of the other bills part of the ceremonial signing address issues such as bringing more mental health resources to rural Utah, making mental health resources more affordable, and helping elementary schools provide students with mental health resources.