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Government News
Suicide-Prevention Bill Gets Rapid White House Response
Psychiatric News
Volume 39 Number 22 page 14-14

FIG1 Acomprehensive suicide-prevention bill aimed at children and adolescents became law in October, only a month after Congress passed it.

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APA President Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S. (center), celebrates the signing of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act at a Capitol Hill reception last month with Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio, left) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). See story on page 14. 

Photo: Rachel Audi

APA President Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., who attended the White House signing ceremony at the invitation of President George W. Bush, said," We applaud the president and Congress for passing this new law to help address youth suicide—a major national health problem and the third-leading cause of death among persons aged 10 to 24 in the United States."

Riba continued, "The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act is a vital step forward in raising public awareness about suicide and in providing funds for suicide prevention and mental health services on college campuses."

The act, named after the late son of Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), who committed suicide last year while he was a college student, calls for early screening programs to identify mental illnesses in children and provide treatment referrals, training for community child care professionals, and creation of the Youth Interagency Research, Training, and Technical Assistance Center (Psychiatric News, October 15).

The law authorizes $82 million in grant money over three years to states, Indian tribes, and colleges and universities.

The legislation merges key provisions of two separate APA-supported bills. The bills were introduced by Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), with considerable input from Smith.

APA Spurlock Fellow Harsh Trivedi, M.D., who works in Reed's office, helped draft the bill.FIG2

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APA President Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., is photographed with APA Spurlock Fellow Harsh Trivedi, M.D., who helped draft the Garret Lee Smith Memorial Act. 

"APA commends the senators and particularly Sen. Smith for pushing the bill through Congress and obtaining the president's support," Riba said.

The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, Public Law (PL) 108-355, can be accessed online at<http://thomas.loc.gov> by searching on the bill's name or PL number.

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APA President Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S. (center), celebrates the signing of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act at a Capitol Hill reception last month with Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio, left) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). See story on page 14. 

Photo: Rachel Audi

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APA President Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., is photographed with APA Spurlock Fellow Harsh Trivedi, M.D., who helped draft the Garret Lee Smith Memorial Act. 

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