SAMHSA awards up to $46.8 million to prevent suicide and meet the emotional needs of those affected by disaster

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is providing up to $46.8 million in funding over the next several years to support programs that help prevent suicide and meet the emotional needs of those who have been affected by natural or man-made disasters.

One grant for up to $18.6 million over the next three years will be awarded to Link2Health Solutions, Inc. of New York, New York, which manages both the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) and the National Disaster Distress Helpline (Helpline).

The Lifeline, 1-800-273 TALK (8255), will be receiving up to $15.9 million of this grant’s funding to continue to administer and enhance the nationwide network of crisis centers that provides help 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week counseling for individuals in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

People who are in crisis or are concerned about someone else in crisis can call the Lifeline and be rapidly connected to the nearest crisis center within the network to receive help. Individuals can also get help online at by clicking the “Click to Chat” button. The Lifeline can also be contacted via TTY for the deaf and hearing impaired by dialing (800)-799-4889 or in Spanish at 1-888-628-9454.

To date, the Lifeline has responded to 7,514,238 calls from people in crisis. Last year alone it responded to more than 1.3 million calls, averaging 3,719 calls daily. Each of these calls represents a person who desperately needed help and received it thanks to the Lifeline’s counselors.

SAMHSA is providing up to $2.8 million of this funding over three years to strengthen the capacity of the Helpline, 1-800-985-5990. The Helpline is a 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week resource for people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy. This toll-free and confidential service immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from a crisis counseling center nearest to them. People seeking emotional help in the aftermath of a disaster can also text TalkWithUs to 66746, go to and TTY for deaf and hearing impaired: 1-800-846-8517.

In another grant, SAMHSA is awarding up to $28.2 million in funding over the next five years to the Education Development Center, Inc. in Waltham, Massachusetts, to manage the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). The SPRC builds national capacity for preventing suicide by providing technical assistance, training, and resources to assist states, tribes, organizations, SAMHSA’s grantees, and others to develop suicide prevention strategies. For more information about the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, visit:

The SPRC also acts as Executive Secretariat for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public private partnership that works to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The overall goal of the SPRC is to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and prevent suicides and suicidal behaviors throughout the nation.

“Suicide and emotional turmoil can destroy lives and shatter families and communities,” said Acting SAMHSA Administrator, Kana Enomoto. “Yet when people in crisis get help they can recover, and lead full productive lives. That is why these programs are so essential.”

For more information on SAMHSA grants, visit:

To learn more about SAMHSA please visit:

For more information, contact the SAMHSA Press Office at 240-276-2130.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Last Updated: 09/18/2015