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Thune Applauds Committee Passage of Tribal Suicide Prevention Bill

Measure Cosponsored by Thune Seeks to Address Tragic Suicide Rates on Reservations

December 3, 2009

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune applauded today’s vote by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to pass the Seventh Generation Promise: Indian Youth Suicide Prevention Act. Senator Thune is a cosponsor of the measure, which would provide resources for tribes to combat the high rates of youth suicide that affect many reservations, including those in South Dakota.

“Youth suicide is a tragic problem that profoundly affects the families, loved ones and communities, and its prevalence in tribal communities is alarming,” said Thune. “Effective and timely mental health services can save lives and heal communities, and this bipartisan bill would address serious mental health service needs. I will work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to pass this bill in the full Senate.”

The bill would authorize an Indian youth tele-mental health demonstration project in the Aberdeen area that would connect remote patients to mental health services. The bill would also streamline the process by which tribal entities apply for federal mental health grants