Implementing a tip line for mental health resources in Washington

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Olympia! We have reached the policy “cutoff,” meaning all Senate bills that are policy-related and don’t affect the budget need to be passed out of committee today in order to still be considered “alive” or moving in the legislative process.

I wanted to tell you about a bill I sponsored to help prevent suicide. This week, the Senate Law and Justice Committee held a public hearing on my Senate Bill 5835, which would require the attorney general to establish a statewide hotline program for receiving information about potential self-harm and criminal acts. The bill would establish a confidential phone line where people could submit a tip about someone, including the tipster, who is contemplating self-harm or hurting others. We refer to this bill as “OK2SAY.” If implemented it could — in addition to being a tip line — also be accessible as an app on a smart phone.

This piece of potential legislation was brought to me by a constituent who was looking for a local tip line for those struggling with thoughts of suicide and couldn’t find anything.

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