The Federal Ministry of Health is working on the bill…

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Berlin The federal government wants to present a suicide prevention bill this summer that will provide greater assistance to people in crisis situations.

The Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) is currently developing a general concept and the corresponding draft law for the prevention of suicides and suicide attempts based on the suicide prevention strategy published in May by Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), according to a response by the federal government to a short question from the Union parliamentary group.

Edgar Franke (SPD), Parliamentary State Secretary for the BMG, made a similar statement on July 1 German medical journal (D) dismissed. Since then, the bill on suicide prevention is due: according to the almost unanimous decision of Parliament last July, it should actually last until June 30, 2024.

Several suicide prevention actors therefore gathered for a vigil in front of the Federal Ministry of Health on July 1 to emphasize their call on the federal government to introduce a suicide prevention law.

The government explains the delay as a major need for coordination. Suicide prevention is a task for society as a whole, which is carried out through various initiatives by the federal government, states and municipalities, as well as non-state actors, according to the federal government’s response today.

The BMG is responsible for drafting the bill, but also the Federal Ministries of the Interior (BMI), for families, seniors, women and young people (BMFSFJ) and for housing, urban development (BMWSB) are involved. As part of the consultation process on the draft law, all relevant expert groups and associations would also have the opportunity to comment.

The possible regulatory content of the suicide prevention bill would result from the suicide prevention strategy presented by Federal Health Minister Lauterbach, the implementation concept and the Bundestag resolution last year, it continues.

The legally anchored suicide prevention strategy will only begin after a corresponding law comes into force, which is expected in 2025. The amount of funding that would then be made available for suicide prevention still needs to be negotiated as part of the upcoming legislative process.

A possible expansion of financial support for telephone and online counseling is subject to the provision of budgetary funds appropriated by the budget legislature. However, existing state crisis services should not be transferred to the responsibility of the federal government. © ER/aerzteblatt.de

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