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Warner & Kaine Announce $1 Million in Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Funding for Mental Health Lifeline

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $1,000,000 in federal funding to expand and enhance the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in Virginia. In July, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned from a 10-digit number to a three-digit number, 9-8-8. With the switch, crisis call centers, including those in Virginia, have seen an increase in calls.  

“The past few years have been hard on everyone. For so many Virginians, COVID has exacerbated mental health challenges and underscored the importance of access to mental health care,” said the senators. “This funding is so critical to ensuring Virginians in need have the timely, confidential, and free support that saves lives.”

The funding, awarded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), was made possible by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Warner and Kaine helped pass in June. Warner and Kaine previously announced $2.6 million in federal funding to help increase capacity and reduce response times at crisis call centers in Virginia.

Warner and Kaine have long worked to expand access to mental health care. Warner and Kaine voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, which provided Virginia with nearly $70 million in funding to bolster mental health and substance abuse programs amid the COVID pandemic. Kaine introduced bipartisan legislation yesterday to support children’s access to mental health care and is a cosponsor of a bill to prevent youth suicide. He was also a champion of getting his legislation signed into law to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals.

If you or a loved one is in need of help, please call or text 9-8-8 or visit for more information.