WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressmen David Trone (D-MD), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the CONtinuity in Necessary Evaluative Crisis Treatment (CONNECT) Act to connect individuals experiencing a behavioral or mental health crisis with follow-up services. Inspired by successful efforts in Maryland to engage in follow-up services, the bill authorizes $30 million to create a new grant program through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support these activities.
The introduction comes just two days before the nationwide launch of the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, a three-digit number to contact for mental health, substance use, and suicide crises. Follow-up services – including check-ins, outreach to ensure engagement in services, and collaboration with support systems – are proven to save lives. Studies show that nearly 80% of follow-up clients report that intervention prevented them from attempting suicide and over 90% said it kept them safe.
“Follow-up and intervention services are data-driven, evidence-based approaches to get people in crisis the help they need when they need it,” said Rep. David Trone, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “There’s no quick-fix for these issues, but the CONNECT Act is a critical measure to ensure that those who use the new 988 crisis line can access vital services and receive long-term support. We must continue to work together – Democrats and Republicans – to deliver these resources to individuals suffering from mental health issues. Lives depend on it.”
“We have evidence that follow-up calls and check-ins can help keep people safe following a mental health crisis,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin. “With the upcoming launch of 988 as the new nationwide crisis line, it is more crucial than ever that our crisis call centers have the resources they need to provide follow-up services to at-risk callers. I appreciate my friend Congressman David Trone’s work on the CONNECT Act, and I am proud to partner with him on this timely legislation.”
“Now more than ever, it is critical that we provide necessary support and an expansion of resources for the millions of Americans who struggle with mental health,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “I am proud to support the CONNECT Act, which will help sustain crisis centers tasked with implementing the new, lifesaving 988 Suicide Prevention Hotline, which will go live on July 16.”
The bill is co-led by Congressmen Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
For bill text, click here.
For one-pager, click here.