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Rep. Chris Stewart calls on government agencies to provide additional mental health funding

FILE PHOTO -- Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Congressman Chris Stewart is joining a bipartisan group of congressmen asking for millions of additional dollars for mental health care and suicide prevention resources.

Rep. Stewart, along with another Republican and two Democrats, authored a letter to several government agencies asking for more funding to be added to this year’s appropriations bill to go toward mental health patients.

“Too many of us have experienced the tragic loss of life and heartbreak that results from suicide,” Stewart says.

In the letter, the lawmakers acknowledge the current bill does allocate money toward mental health resources, but say it doesn’t go far enough.

“Access to suicide prevention resources is critical,” says Stewart. “And I believe Congress can do more to help those in crisis.”

The letter asks for at least $166-million dollars in additional funding for the National Institutes of Mental Health, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and state grants for suicide prevention programs.

The group says the funds will go toward education, treatment, and real-time data to help address specific communities seeing spikes in suicide rates.