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January 27, 2020

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) Floor Statement on H.R. 4704, the Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act

Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4704, the – Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act. I want to thank Representatives McAdams for his leadership in this good bipartisan bill, which I am proud to cosponsor.

Tragically, suicide is a major public health concern in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people between ages 10 and 34 and the fourth leading cause of death for individuals between ages 35 and 54.

In 2017, suicide accounted for more than twice as many fatalities than homicide.

Despite decades of research into the complex and multifaceted risk factors and circumstances that contribute to suicidal thoughts and behavior, the rate of death by suicide is rising. In 2017, 18 out of every 100,000 Americans were lost to suicide. We haven’t seen a suicide rate this high since World War II.

We must do more to address this crisis. There is a clear need for additional research to improve our understanding of the factors that put a person at risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act directs the National Science Foundation to support much needed research on the science of suicide to inform prevention strategies and save lives.

I want to once again thank Mr. McAdams for his leadership on this issue. I also want to thank Science Committee Ranking Member Lucas and Representatives Gonzalez and Balderson for their bipartisan efforts to get this bill to the floor today.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.