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Rep. Young Kim

Mar 29, 2022 | Health, Press Releases

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39) joined House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Reps. Cindy Axne (IA-03) and Lori Trahan (MA-03) to reauthorize the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act.  

This bill reauthorizes community-based youth and young adult suicide prevention programs created in the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, named after the son of former Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, who died by suicide in his college apartment in Utah in 2004. These bipartisan programs are set to expire at the end of FY 2022.  

“Every day, 125 Americans die by suicide, and mental health issues have become more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a mother of four and new grandmother, I mourn with parents who have lost their children due to suicide and want to do all I can to support resources that uplift our communities,” said Kim. “I’m proud to join Ranking Member McMorris Rodgers and Reps. Axne and Trahan to ensure Garrett Lee Smith community-based youth and young adult suicide prevention programs can continue their important work to support young people across the nation. I will do everything I can to help individuals improve their access to mental health care to meet their health needs.” 

“The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial programs save lives and give hope to young adults in need of rescue from despair,” said Leader Rodgers. “COVID-19 lockdowns have resulted in mental health emergencies, and children and young adults of all ages are in crisis. This is an urgent time to ensure these strong bipartisan programs can continue to support youth in our communities. I appreciate all my colleagues who are leading this bill with me. Let’s continue to build on this work for a more secure future for the next generation, especially in providing healing for those struggling with the trials of life.” 

“Our country’s worsening mental health crisis is taking a devastating toll on young people, and the need to invest in youth mental health and suicide prevention efforts couldn’t be more dire,” said Rep. Cindy Axne. “This legislation will provide continued support for critical suicide prevention programs for years to come and ensure that young people in Iowa and across the country can access the help that they need. I’m proud to work with my colleagues on this pressing issue to combat the mental health crisis and save lives.” 

“The youth mental health crisis has only been made worse by the challenges of the pandemic,” said Rep. Lori Trahan. “We have an obligation to meet this moment of urgency with the comprehensive solutions and resources our children need. I’m proud to join with colleagues to fulfill part of that obligation – reauthorizing the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act and the key programs it supports to provide mental health resources, bolster suicide prevention efforts, and end the stigma associated with getting help.” 

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