suicide-prevention bill aimed at children and adolescents became law in
October, only a month after Congress passed it.
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
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
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
"APA commends the senators and particularly Sen. Smith for pushing
the bill through Congress and obtaining the president's support," Riba
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. ▪