To bring down the rising suicide rate in the U.S., Cory Booker wants to appoint a federal coordinator tasked solely with suicide prevention. Amy Klobuchar wants to fund more local programs designed to prevent suicides among farmers and in tribal communities. Pete Buttigieg wants to add more mental health providers to the Department of Veterans Affairs and limit access to guns and other lethal means for people at high risk of suicide.
The ideas came in response to a survey sent to 2020 presidential candidates by a new nonpartisan group called Mental Health For US. The group — which includes the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Kennedy Forum — launched in June with a goal of getting 2020 presidential and congressional candidates to go on the record about their mental health policy ideas. Mental Health for US sent its survey to President Trump and every presidential candidate polling at or above an average of 1% in mid-July. The survey asked about a slew of topics related to mental health, from the shortage of providers to suicide prevention.