The bipartisan and bicameral Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act (H.R. 3073 & S. 1452) is a landmark bill that will fund community-led initiatives that use a public health approach to prevent and heal mental health problems caused by toxic stresses, emergencies, and disasters.
On September 21, 2023, experts and leading members of Congress from across the United States came together for a briefing on the importance of this bill.
With over 1,000 registrants and several hundred attendees, the briefing was co-hosted/sponsored by - in addition to CTIPP - the International Transformational Briefing Agenda Resilience Coalition (ITRC), the Congressional Social Work Caucus, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), National Association of Counties, National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives (NPSC), American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, Mental Health America, National Association of Social Workers, American Public Health Association, National Rural Health Association and National Federation of Families, among others.
Welcome and overview of briefing by Bob Doppelt, ITRC Coordinator
Opening Comments by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Opening Comments by Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE)
Opening Comments by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Opening Comments by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)
Background on the needs, methods, benefits, and legislative specifics of the "CMWRA of 2023" by Bob Doppelt
Comments by leaders of community-led mental wellness and resilience building initiatives about how the CMWRA would benefit their programs
Melanie Boyd: NC SmartStart Healthy and Resilient Communities Initiative
J'vanete Skiba: New Hanover County Resilience Task Force
Beck Turner: Community Resilience Initiative (Walla Walla WA)
Charlotte Eure: Virginia’s Trauma Informed Community Networks
Robin Saenger: Peace4Tarpon, Tarpon Springs, FL.
David Shern: National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
Sarah Butts: National Association of Social Workers
Katherine Catalano: American Public Health Association
Ruben Cantu: Prevention Institute
Josh Wortzel: American Psychiatric Association
Comments from national organizational leaders about why they support the CMWRA of 2023
Closing comments by Bob Doppelt
00:00:03 Right. Hello and welcome, everyone, to the congressional briefing on the landmark bipartisan Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023, just a little less than 1100 people from all sectors of society now from almost every state in the US, as well as a number of people from other nations registered for the briefing. So we welcome you all. My name is Bob Doppelt and I will facilitate the session today. I coordinate the International Transformational Resilience Coalition or TRC for short, and we are a network of mental health, Human services and other organizations working to prevent and heal the mental health, behavioral health and psychosocial impacts generated by the rising toxic stresses, emergencies and extreme weather disasters we're seeing across the US and internationally. Before we dive into the material, I want to give a special thanks to the : Congressional Social Work Caucus for co-sponsoring the briefing today. I also want to thank the many organizations from across the US who are co-sponsoring today's briefing, and you can see all of them on this initial slide. I want to give a special thanks to the National Association of Counties, the National Rural Health Association, and the National Federation of Families for joining us today. The other co-sponsors also co-sponsored the July 20th briefing, congressional briefing we held, and many of the people who are members of these organizations are members of the National Steering Committee of the ICRC. And you're going to hear from some of them today and others. Thanks to all of you. Even before the Covid 19 pandemic, psychological and emotional distresses and traumas were accelerating nationwide. And of course, we know now that the pandemic made them far worse, more visible and impossible to ignore. And today, many accelerating personal social, economic and environmental traumatic stresses, including toxic social isolation and loneliness, job and income struggles, the dark side of social media and more have produced widespread adverse mental health, behavioral health and psychosocial conditions. The record heat waves, rain and windstorms, floods, droughts, wildfires, hazardous smoke events and others emergencies and extreme weather disasters Americans are experiencing are aggravating and coming on top of the existing stresses and traumas and adding many new ones that are impacting millions more people. Research have determined, for example, just saw this today, that this summer was the hottest summer on record. And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently said that as of the end of August of this year, our nation had already experienced 23 extreme weather events, with losses exceeding $1 billion each, with the total cost being more than $57 Million. And the year isn't even over yet. And that does not even include the damage is done by the historic storms seen in different parts of the US in late August and early September, or the deep droughts that have impacted the South, Midwest and other parts of the US. The result is a national epidemic of adverse psychological, emotional, behavioral and psychosocial conditions. And as disturbing as they are, the consequences often go far beyond what the individual alone experiences. Who has these issues? Many distressed and traumatized people try to self-medicate by using drugs, alcohol or other methods and end up harming themselves or their families or the public. Others turn the distressed outward and become aggressive or violent towards their spouses or their children and produce more adverse childhood experiences. Or they become aggressive and violent towards people who think, act or look differently and end up traumatizing their entire community and much beyond that many parts of society and stressed and traumatized people often experience job difficulties, which affects their income and employability and also affects their employers and the economy as a whole. So as we are. Trying to get this to go as we are seeing across the country. I'm not sure why the slides aren't working. Let me just put this back up. There is really no other health issue that comes close to creating the wide range of individual family, community and societal troubles as pervasive mental health, behavioral health and psychosocial issues and struggles. So today's mental health epidemic must be considered both a public health and a public safety emergency, because at different times, ways and magnitudes, everyone can be impacted. This is a population level problem, and without significant expansion of the way we prevent and heal them, our nation's psychological, emotional and behavioral problems will only grow far worse as toxic stress emergencies and extreme weather disasters occur. Our primary response to these challenges so far has been to expand mental health and behavioral health programs. And while they are very important and we'll talk about this a little later today, those behavioral health and mental health services do not prevent mental health problems, and there will be never enough, never enough providers to assist all of the people who experience mental health, behavioral health and psychosocial conditions. And this gap is going to continue to grow as more toxic stresses, emergencies and extreme weather disasters occur. We therefore need to expand the US approach to mental health by actively engaging neighborhoods and communities and strengthening the capacity for mental wellness and resilience of all of their residents to prevent and heal mental health and behavioral health and psychosocial problems caused by all types of adversities. And fortunately, a number of initiatives are underway around the US that show how this can be done. And you're going to hear from a number of them today. These and other initiatives underway across the US show that community is medicine done well with a sound approach and sufficient funding and support. Community is where prevention and healing can thrive. One issue that almost every Community Resilience initiative struggles with is funding to get organized, as well as funding to strengthen and grow their operations over time. And this is what H.R. 307 three and the Senate companion bill, the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023 will address. So on behalf of the entire TRC National Steering Committee, I want to give our sincerest thanks to Representative Paul Tonko, a Democrat from New York's 20th Congressional District, for seeing the need developing and introducing this very important legislation. I also want to thank Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Pennsylvania's first Congressional district, for being the original co-sponsor of the legislation with Representative Tonko. In addition, on behalf of the entire TRC Steering Committee and all of the co-sponsor this briefing, I want to give our deepest thanks to Representative Don Bacon, Republican from Nebraska's second Congressional District, who is with us today. And we'll say a few words in a few moments, as well as Representative Barbara Lee, who chairs the Congressional Social Work Caucus and who will also hear from in a few moments for both co-sponsoring this important legislation. In addition, I thank Representative Mary Paul Tola, Kathy Castor, Morgan McGarvey, Sherry Sandoval, Donald Davis, David Trone and Kunstler Kuster and Troy Carter and Haley Stevens for co-sponsoring H.R. 307 three. In addition, I want to give our deepest thanks to Senator Markey from Massachusetts, who you also hear from in a few moments for introducing S1452, the companion bill in the Senate with Senators Jeff Merkley from Oregon, Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut, and Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island. And now I'd like you to hear comments from Representative Paul Tonko about the legislation. He had a scheduling conflict so cannot be here in person, but prepared this video for you to see. And I'm going to let Jesse show this video right now.
00:09:31 Good afternoon. I am Paul Tonko, representative of New York's 20th Congressional District. It is my honor indeed to address you all today about the ever more pressing need for the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act. I want to start by thanking all the organizers and experts who are here today to share the critical work they are doing. This summer has been the hottest on record, and we are continuing to witness the devastating impacts of extreme weather events, including deadly wildfires and catastrophic flooding. Communities across our great country are reeling as disasters continue to take lives and livelihoods and leave deep emotional scars in their wake. Studies have shown that up to 40% of those living in affected areas experienced trauma as a result. If we want to ensure a healthier and more sustainable future, we must work to prevent the mental health challenges that people face during and after disasters. This is why I'm proud to have introduced the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act and to be working with my colleagues to help tackle our nation's mental health crisis head on. My bill will establish a pilot grant program to support community driven efforts to strengthen mental wellness and resilience. Building community resilience must go further than solely supporting disaster preparedness and one on one mental health care. It must also include all the factors that impact our health and mental wellness, like strengthening social connections. Community is medicine. By using a holistic and forward looking approach focused on building resilient communities, we can actively reduce the negative mental health impacts of future disasters and aid in the healing process for those affected by traumas. Central to my bill is the funding and support of community based resilience coordinating networks. Nobody understands the unique needs of a community better than those who call it home, empowering local groups with the necessary resources to drive their own prevention and healing efforts is crucial. Moving forward, I am hopeful that we can continue to work together to help communities not just survive, but thrive in spite of our changing climate. I do promise to continue to do my part in working to deliver science based evidence informed solutions that benefit communities across our nation and offer an elastic response to natural disasters, toxic stresses and the ongoing climate crisis. So thank you all again for being here today. Your dedication and your collective efforts give me hope for a more resilient and a healthier future for all Americans.
00:12:25 Thank you.
00:12:26 I'm a new politician.
00:12:29 Can't go. I would not like to introduce Congressman Don Bacon from Nebraska. And I just want to give our deepest thanks to you, Congressman, for your work on mental health and and your willingness to co-sponsor this very important legislation. Thank you for being here also today. And I want to just turn it over to you.
00:12:49 Thank you very much. And it's great to see you. 280 people listening in today. So welcome to everyone that's dialed in. Don't want to repeat everything that Paul just said because he talked about the technical parts of the bill. So I'll just think I'll just add to what he had to say versus repeat. Now, first of all, we know we have a crisis ongoing, about a 30% increase in depression for our high school kids. I think it's one of the most serious problems facing our country right now. Malika. I see 3 or 4 huge issues staring us in the face that we got to solve. But this is one of those key issues and it's not something you solve solve with legislation either. I mean, there's some deeper issues that we as a community and as a country need to, you know, talk through. I mean, we talked about social media, for one, and I did some town halls in high schools. And I've asked what's going on and some of these answers, really. Uh, made an impact on me. So I was in one high school and said, What's going on? Why are we having a 3% increase in depression? And a young man raised his hand and he goes. Basically, they have no hope. There's no a lot of these. He says a lot of kids don't have any spiritual hope. And they're being told that the planet's going to be destroyed in 20 and 30, 40 years. And so they're like, why even what's the purpose of even living? Was this what I'm hearing from our high school kids? And so it really sort of moved me to hear some of these comments. But we know we don't have enough mental health capacity right now. Inpatient or outpatient. And I see this as one solution. It's not the silver bullet. It's not the only solution, but it's one of many options that we should be putting on the table here. So trying to get more mental health initiatives and grant money to serve at the local level where local leaders and local doctors and psychologists can come up with something that's tailor made for that community. That's what we're hoping to do here. Seed money to get stuff started that will be local decisions and local solutions that may look different in Omaha than it does, say, in New York or New Mexico or wherever, wherever else it may be. And that's our goal here. And there's some other things I support, too, like trying to get mental health doctors or experts in our schools, increasing mental health care and our children's hospitals, our community health health centers. Obviously the VA. I'm a third year Air Force guy, so I surely see a need more capacity there. But for this particular bill, we're trying to provide local some funding for local solutions to make an impact in communities that could be tailor made for those communities. I see I'm a federalist that I think, you know, the federal government can help with funding, but in the end, local local communities come up with the best answers for their their communities. So this is what we're trying to trying to promote and trying to fund and try to help. And, you know, so Paul mentioned earlier, community is the best medicine. And we're trying to we're trying to fund that and make that reality. So don't want to repeat everything. Paul said. Just wanted to add to to his comments with with my perspective. Thank you.
00:16:10 Thank you, Congressman, very much for joining us. And for those write on comments or just right on in many, many ways. So we really appreciate the work you're doing and your support for this bill and dealing with mental health in general and other issues. So thank you for joining us today. Really appreciate it. Um. Right. We're not going to introduce. Congressman Barbara Lee. She has also sent a video and Jesse is going to show that video.
00:16:52 Hello, everyone. My name is Congresswoman Barbara Lee and I proudly represent California's beautiful 13th Congressional District, which includes Oakland and Berkeley and part of the East Bay area in Northern California. As a very proud chair of the Congressional Social Work Caucus. Let me begin by thanking the International Transformational Resilience Coalition and other co-hosting groups for organizing this very important briefing on the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023, in conjunction with the Congressional Social Work Caucus. I also want to thank Representatives Tonko and Fitzpatrick and Senator Markey for leading the introduction of this bill. This important bill would help address our nation's worsening mental health crises, exacerbated by natural disasters through grants and partnerships with local community based initiatives. As a social worker by training, I know from firsthand experience that forming mutual support networks in neighborhoods and communities is vital to help heal mental health stressors stemming from climate change. The Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act takes a very important step in the right direction by addressing the nexus between climate change and mental health, by directing CDC to fund and support community initiatives that seek to devise their own unique strategies to build and sustain mental wellness and resilience. Research shows that when the community initiatives become effective, they significantly reduce mental health issues, behavioral health and psychosocial problems. On behalf of the Congressional Social Work Caucus. I wish you an informative reading experience and I so look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you again.
00:18:56 All right. Thank you, Congressman. And our next speaker is going to be a video from Senator Ed Markey who introduced the companion bill in the Senate to the House bill. And I'll let Jesse show that video.
00:19:21 Senator Ed Markey, thank you to the International Transformational Resilience Coalition for convening us today in support of the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act. There's no question our planet is running a fever. Disasters supercharged by climate change are devastating communities all across our country, all across our planet. This August alone. Hurricanes Slam Florida. Mudslides hit Oregon. Wildfires burned through Hawaii. And in my home state of Massachusetts, catastrophic storms flooded farmlands. It was unbelievable. And, of course, the scars of those losses are not just physical. The pain of those losses weighs heavily on communities, especially as the climate crisis continues to worsen due to decades of obstruction and opposition. The weight of this struggle harms our mental health in a time when resiliency is what people and our planet need. In short, a sick planet makes people sick. But in the wake of these disasters, it is communities who are on the front lines of collective care. They make sure people have food to eat and water to drink. They reach our our hands and bring them together, helping neighbors, building social connections and empowering their friends, their families and their loved ones to move forward together. But communities should not be left to face crises alone. We can build on the strength of communities by supporting collective care. The Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act will invest in community based programs that are building mental wellness and building resilience. This bill will increase their capacity and help communities fight back against the invisible scars and toxic stress of disasters like extreme weather events. And it will ensure that communities most affected. Environmental justice communities are also not left behind because they are so often left behind. Because we need to have a health care system that is not left behind either. If climate impacts upon it, we have to pass the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act and help our communities because not just physical resilience is necessary, but mental resilience in the name of climate change in the 21st century. Disasters. Please let us come together. Let us move forward. Let us make this progress. Thank you all so much for everything that you are doing.
00:22:10 Thank you, Senator. And we appreciate all of them sending these videos. They had conflicts in Congress and couldn't not make the session, but they took the time to make the video. So we really appreciate that. As we've heard now, the US is experiencing an epidemic of mental health and psychosocial and behavioral health conditions. And it's important to note that the noted pioneer clinical psychologist George Albee, once said no epidemic has ever been resolved by paying attention to the treatment of the affected individual. Now, this is a psychologist, not a physical health expert. And so he's talking about even the mental health issues can't be addressed just by treating individuals one at a time. And that means that today address today's mental health epidemics and prevent future ones. We've got to expand the way our nation approaches mental health by embracing a public health approach to mental wellness and resilience. A public health approach to mental wellness and resilience focuses on the entire population, not merely individuals with symptoms of pathology or high risk or vulnerable groups. But they must absolutely be included using what's called proportionate universalism and life course approaches. And you can look that up. We don't have time to dive into those today, but it's a population level approach and our approach must leave no one behind. A public health approach to mental wellness resilience prioritizes preventing mental health problems before they occur, not merely reacting to or treating them after they emerge. And it integrates community and group minded healing methods into the prevention strategies. And I'll talk about that in a moment. We must always remember that prevention is the cure. And it accomplishes those goals by strengthening protective factors social supports, resilience skills habits, local resources that build into sane, healthy thinking behaviors and responses. Not just fixing deficits, treating symptoms of pathology or reacting to the next disaster. We must build skills, strengths and resources. Research in ample experience show that mental wellness and resilience can be enhanced. We know how to do this, and mental health problems can be prevented and healed. And the most effective way to do this is to establish the social infrastructure in communities That's different than the physical infrastructure, the social infrastructure that can be called a resilience coordinating network. Although all the groups involved with this kind of work call it something slightly different, steering committees, etcetera, etcetera, you'll hear from them in a few moments. But these resilience coordinating networks bring together a broad and diverse array of local residents, civic groups, nonprofit, private and public organizations in planning and implementing, as you've heard from the representatives locally chosen and tailored strategies that strengthen the capacity of all of their residents for mental wellness and resilience. Here's an example a sample resilience coordinating network, an example of the social infrastructure needed. This is the ideal. If you go all inside, you'll see there's a the inside circle. There's a steering committee or board of directors. Often they nominate co-chairs. If they're lucky, they might have staff. And around the first circle that might be neighborhood leaders, private sector leaders going to the right side, civic leaders, youth leaders, public sector, mental health and human services, nonprofit faith leaders. They're all working together to try to develop strategies that reach the entire population. But outside of that, are outside that ring are a number of groups that are working. We call them resilience innovation teams working with different populations in the community. Some might be in the upper right hand corner working with neighborhood groups. Some might be working with the private sector, some with youth and children, some with the educational systems. Somewhat. The private sector is one with health care, emergency response and public safety, community leader innovation. They're all working with different populations, developing their own strategies, but they're coming back, sharing their strategies with the steering committee, with the broader group. They're getting feedback on it, coordinating their work, finding gaps in who's being served and who's not coordinating fundraising strategies, etcetera, etcetera. So this you could call this, as you see up on top, well coordinated decentralization using a ring team or a hub and spoke approach. And it really is the method that is used to get us out of our silos, which is so common in our communities. Agencies and organizations working in silos to work and plan together for the common good. We so that's the sort of process oriented focus. It's that building, that social infrastructure. And I want to talk a little bit about content. Our research, the ICRC kicked off a research project that ended up going two and a half years. We thought it was going to be six months, but it took two and a half years and we identified five core foundational areas required to build population level capacity for mental wellness, resilience for these extreme weather disasters, toxic stress, etcetera. And by far the most important is to build both strong and weak, as they're called, social connections and supports across the communities, across cultural, economic and geographic boundaries in the communities. This can be called building bonding social support networks, which are strong networks, bridging social support networks, which are the bonding or connections with close family and friends. The bridging closed social support networks are connections between your family and friend and other family and friend networks. And then the linking social support networks are connections between bonding and bridging, and those organizations that have political power, economic power, etcetera in the community. They're all weak, so to speak, networks. But this is really critical and there are some very exciting projects going on. You'll hear from some of them today, and there's others that are doing this very kind of work. Then another very important foundational area required to build population capacity for mental wellness resilience is to ensure a just transition by actively engaging local residents in creating low emission, climate resilient, physical built, economic and ecological conditions. It means engaging residents in building healthy public spaces, parks, open space. Equitable transportation. Systems, healthy forests, waterways and ecological systems. Ample and safe and healthy housing. Living wage jobs. We normally think of this as the the jobs we give to government agencies or the private sector, but there are a number of of community initiatives underway around the US and actively engage residents in these activities. And when they see progress, they develop hope, which increases their mental wellness and capacity for resilience. On the other hand, unhealthy local conditions really affects mental health and resilience. It depresses it. So this is really an important aspect. And again, some exciting programs underway. Another foundational area is to build universal literacy about mental wellness and resilience. That is to help everyone become trauma and resilience informed. This starts with helping everyone understand how trauma and toxic stress can affect their mind, body, emotions and behaviors, as well as how trauma and toxic stress can affect how groups think and act. And then learning what we call presence skills or self-regulation skills, simple self administered, culturally appropriate self-regulation skills to calm their body, mind, emotion and behaviors when they're distressed, as well as what we call purposing skills, which are adversity based growth skills. That means learning simple self administrative skills to allow people to find meaning and purpose in life and hope in the midst of adversities. The fourth of the areas we found in the five foundational areas we found to build population capacity for mental wellness and resilience is to help all residents engage in specific practices that research and experience show enhance mental wellness and resilience. Helping people laugh often even in the midst of distressing times. Practicing forgiveness, keep learning, being grateful, caring for the body, finding simple joys. There's some exciting programs out there doing one, one not in the US, but up in Vancouver, Victoria, B.C., for example, a Neighborhood Resilience initiative found that people were sad and depressed because of the ongoing smoke events and other activities, and so they came together as a neighborhood group and created a way for the neighbors to get involved with plays that were funny and to make everybody laugh. And then they put together a manual for how to do it. You get on their website, they help everybody find joy and laugh a lot in the midst of ongoing adversities. And finally, the last one, but very important is to establish age and ongoing, culturally appropriate and mostly peer led group and community minded programs to heal trauma. So at the top you can see the healing circles and other group methods are really important. We're 5 to 100 people come together, facilitated by a peer who to share what they're going through, shared the distressed hear from others who are experiencing something similar and finding out, Oh, I'm not alone and there's nothing wrong with me. This is common. And then they hear how others are dealing with these issues and they learn resilience skills, they make social connections, they engage with all these others. And there's a number of other these different kinds of group and community minded healing programs. And you'll see on the bottom there on the right clinical treatment, mental health services are going to remain very important. But as these distress disasters and stressors grow, these other activities, just because of the simple manpower involved, is really going to be very, very important. These interventions move us beyond merely treating mental health symptoms after they appear and reacting to the next disaster. To show how community is medicine done well with the right supports and a sufficient funding community is medicine. And government has a very important role to play in this kind of initiative. Most important is to help establish the conditions that allow local resilience coordinate networks to be successful. One key way to do this is to provide startup funding, to allow the initiatives to get going, and it usually takes 3 to 5 years to really get up and running effectively as well as long term funding to support and strengthen and expand programs. If the Resilience Coordinating Network attains its objectives, the goals it says it can. But government can also enhance the credibility of resilience networks by publicly acknowledging them, which will increase their ability to engage other people, raise other funds, and they can also direct public agencies, their agencies to participate in and coordinate their work with the local resilience coordinating networks. So as you've heard already from Congressman Tonko and others, the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act is going to authorize CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to. Established a planning grant of up to $250,000 for one year to help communities get organized into resilience coordinate networks. It will also authorize a program grant of up to a half million for up to four years to help support the implementation and continue growth and expansion of resilience networks. 20% of the funding is going to be set aside for rural communities, which is really important. And it will also require CDC to establish a technical assistance programs to help community groups develop their grants, the two CDC, and also bring participants of funded programs together to learn from each other. And right now in the House cited appropriates $36 million for the program. So with that, I want you to hear from a number of people who are on the ground, working on the ground in these initiatives to talk about what they're doing and how the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act can benefit them. And I want to introduce to start this off, introduce Ben Boyd, who's the resilient community officers with the Healthy and Resilient Community Program, with the North Carolina Partnership for Children. And it's all yours.
00:35:16 Good afternoon. Thank you, Bob. I'm Kevin Boyd, the Resilient Communities officer at the North Carolina Partnership for Children, which is the umbrella organization responsible for overseeing the Smart Start Network. It's an honor to be with you here today and support at the Community Mental Health and Resilience Act of 2023. I would love to express my gratitude to the two original co-sponsors, Representatives Paul Tonko and Brian Fitzpatrick and all the other co-sponsors, for introducing this legislation in the House and also to Senators Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley and Richard Blumenthal for their companion bill in the Senate. Their commitment to advancing community mental wellness and resilience is commendable and forward thinking. For over 30 years, Smart Start has been collaborating with local partnerships in every community in North Carolina, providing funding resources and support to increase positive outcomes for children and families. In my current role, I've been working closely with county level multi-sector, trauma and resilience coalitions across the state. Learning from their experiences and facilitating collaboration to address trauma and reduce its impact at the individual and community levels. Today, I'm here to share my insights on the Community Mental Health and Resilience Act of 2023. Drawing upon my previous experience as a director of a local Resilience Coalition and my current role working with over 50. And you'll see on the map the counties in North Carolina that have such coalitions. I believe this legislation holds immense potential to bolster community resilience, not only in our state but across the entire nation. Over the past two years, we've made noteworthy progress in developing a unifying framework for these coalitions in North Carolina, alongside creating essential resources to strengthen their capacity. Our accomplishments include the development of a data dashboard with Resilience indicators, a survey tool to assess coalition culture based on Samhsa six Principles of a Trauma Informed Approach. The establishment of a comprehensive statewide website featuring sector specific resources and the creation of a shared language glossary. I was really impressed with the comments in the Q&A section, and we have. We took a stab at Defining Community. You can find that on the website and also to the questions about the medical community. You can also search for resources that are medical sector specific on this website under the resources. We've conducted a diverse array of requested training and learning opportunities for communities. Additionally, we've provided financial support, small but some financial support for resilience, building training efforts and infrastructure support to nine counties through a grant from our North Carolina DHHS. Multi-Sector coalitions are instrumental and fostering resilience as they bring together various systems such as education, health care, the business community, law enforcement, just to name a few. Rather than waiting until after a disaster or repeated trauma or toxic stress occurs, these coalitions proactively provide resilience and self regulation, skill training to firefighters, police officers, K-12 educators and students, early childhood teachers, health care professionals, faith communities and other essential groups. By prioritizing the well-being of those who serve our communities. These efforts have effectively reduced the trauma and stress load that workers encounter on a daily basis and have drastically improved the service delivery to families needing to count on these services. We firmly believe that local communities are best equipped to identify their unique needs and determine the most effective interventions. The solutions are in the community. Therefore, it is crucial that these efforts are supported through local control of funds by granting communities the authority to focus their efforts and provide the necessary interventions, we empower them to drive meaningful change and importantly, to stay engaged. It's important to note that of these coalitions in North Carolina, the majority of them are coordinated and facilitated by unpaid individuals who've taken on this responsibility alongside their existing workloads. However, a small number of counties. A small number of counties have managed to secure paid coordinators to oversee cross-sector initiatives. The Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023 includes funding to compensate local coordinators, ensuring consistency, relevance, predictability and reliability in this crucial work. Paid coordinators serve as the backbone of efforts to break down silos among different systems and organizations, fostering unified action and crucial conversations. The North Carolina Healthy and Resilient Communities Initiative wholeheartedly endorses this legislation, and we implore Congress to swiftly advance it toward enactment. It is undeniable that communities with paid facilitators are making more rapid and effective progress than those without dedicated coordinators. An excellent example of a community benefiting from a paid coordinator is New Hanover County. Javon Skiba, director, will now share her insights on the remarkable accomplishments achievable in a county with a paid coordinator. Thank you.
00:41:54 Hello, my name is Javon Beckton Skiba, and I am joining you from Wilmington, North Carolina. I want to take a moment to thank Representatives Tonko and Bacon and all of the other House and Senate co-sponsors for introducing the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023. It is exciting to see support for this bill not only on both sides of the aisle, but also in both chambers. As I mentioned, I am the director of the New Hanover County Resiliency Task Force, a real life resilience coordinating network that would benefit from this legislation. The task force was created in 2018 by a multi-sector group of community leaders passionate about helping children and inspired by the documentary Resilience, the Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope. Through their diligent efforts, especially those of our fiscal agent, communities and schools of Cape Fear. Funding was found to hire Mebane as our first paid coordinator, tasked with developing the framework that serves as the foundation of the task force today. Over the last five years, membership has grown to include a steering committee for newly streamlined subcommittees and over 700 members representing over 100 organizations from every category listed in the community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act. 55 of those organizations have signed our belief statement expressing their commitment to working together to prevent and respond to the public health crisis caused by adverse experiences, trauma and toxic stress. We all believe that by strengthening connections, educating community members, and inspiring people to action, we can build a compassionate and resilient community where everyone can thrive. An example of task force members taking action can be found in the New Hanover County government, which has embedded resiliency training into its onboarding for all employees. Sadly, the need for this training became evident during Hurricane Florence and its aftermath. While southeastern North Carolina has certainly had its share of hurricanes, Florence is slow departure, record breaking rainfall and severe flooding resulted in real time trauma not only for residents but also for county employees tasked with emergency and disaster response, even if it wasn't part of their regular duties. Imagine being a librarian tasked with helping people out of a helicopter after their rooftop rescue while also worrying about your own loved ones in home. Officials recognized it was imperative for county staff to understand how to regulate their own nervous systems to protect their health. And not long after, with the additional community trauma of Covid, it became evident that the task force needed to do the same for teachers. Health care providers firstrillionesponders and others who need to know how to take care of themselves so that they can better take care of the people they serve. Other task force initiatives include, but are certainly not limited to training community members to be community resiliency model and reconnect for resilience. Teachers helping New Hanover County Schools launch a Trauma Informed Schools pilot serving as an NC Child Advocacy Network hub and providing trauma and resiliency training to over 6000 people. The success of the task force has been exponentially greater because of having a paid coordinator working full time to coordinate meetings, engage in community outreach, manage projects and facilitate training. It is challenging to find sustainable funding. Each year it seems harder to find grantors who can see the service we provide as coordinators in the same light as other direct services. However, the need for community based resilience coordinating networks continues to grow. As already mentioned, local communities are best equipped to identify their unique needs and determine the most effective strategies strategies to address them. Most of the existing networks are relying on the passion of individuals who are adding to their already full time work responsibilities, extending their workdays or volunteering their time. The need to address adversity and strengthen protective factors is urgent, and we cannot afford to continue to rely on part time, essentially volunteer efforts. That is why we wholeheartedly support the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act for ourselves and for our fellow communities. Thank you for this opportunity and thank you for listening.
00:47:31 Bob, you are muted.
00:47:35 Thank you for telling me that. And thank you, Devonté. And I want to introduce Becky Turner, the director of community engagement with the Community Resilience Initiative in Walla Walla, Washington. Becky.
00:47:49 Thank you, Bob. I'd like to start by thanking.
00:47:52 The representatives for introducing this important legislation into the House. And I'd also like to thank the Senators for introducing its companion bill in the Senate. My name is Becky Turner and I am the director of community engagement for the nonprofit organization Community Resilience Initiative, which I'm going to refer to as CRI. We are located in Walla Walla, which is a rural town in southeast Washington state, is committed to creating a citizenry conversant in the science of trauma and resilience. We help communities and individual individuals to heal and prevent trauma by sharing science based insights in order to promote and cultivate resilience. We believe that what is predictable is preventable, and that resilience helps us overcome adversity. We have organized a robust network of coordinating service providers here in Walla Walla, which includes public and private schools, the medical community, government, nonprofit agencies that provide a wide range of social services. CRI also provides trauma, informed and resilience based training and education to folks nationwide. Our work was featured in the documentary paper Tigers, and we have shown through research and data that providing strength and resilience based programs positively impacts graduation rates, decreases violence and the impacts of mental illness, and creates a meaningful sense of community. Walla Walla is built around agriculture and we have seen our fair share of extreme weather events. In February of 2020, less than a month before the lockdowns. Our area experienced catastrophic flooding that damaged infrastructure and threatened the livelihoods of our farmers and our local economy. Later that same year, in September of 2020, our area briefly held the world record for the worst air quality as a result of smoke from nearby wildfires. The smoke lasted for weeks. In June 2021, Walla Walla experienced an unprecedented heat dome that resulted in the widespread crop loss of our world famous Walla Walla. Sweet onions. Extreme weather has damaged our wellness, our mental health and our economy. We need tools to build our resilience. Chris believes that resilience trumps adversity and that by building community wide resilience, we can buffer against the harmful effects of situations that are often outside of our direct control. We help build resilience by connecting community members to the services they can use by teaching folks about neuroscience and the short and long term effects of trauma, and how to increase their own resilience on a personal and community wide level. We believe that community is the solution. The Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023 would help my organization provide critically important information to the folks who need it most. The people suffering from the flooding, from the crop shortages, from the drought and other weather related traumas. We can't control the weather, but we can control our response to the folks that are affected by it. The Community Resilience Initiative urges Congress to swiftly enact the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023. Thank you for your time. Back to Bob.
00:51:33 Thank you, Becky. Appreciate it. And I like to introduce Charlotte York, who's the coordinator of the Virginia's Trauma Informed Community Networks. Charlotte.
00:51:45 Thank you, Bob. And a heartfelt thank you to all the co-sponsors of the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act in the House and Senate. My name is Charlotte. Your. And I'm joining you from Richmond, Virginia. I serve in dual roles as the community programs impact specialist for Greater Richmond Scan, a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. And as the coordinator for Virginia's Trauma Informed Community Networks, or SNS, a grassroots coalition of 31 trauma Informed and Community Resilience Networks, the first of which was formed in Richmond in 2012. These networks build bridges across sectors to mitigate and prevent trauma and improve the mental health and overall well-being of all those in the regions they serve. Each network is unique, led by and serving the needs of community members across a diverse spectrum of lived and professional experience. Networks provide trainings, education, events and resources and are a hub for connection and community healing. For example, our network in Greater Richmond has provided free introductory trainings on trauma and resilience to over 10,000 individuals, with participants reporting an increase in knowledge on strategies for building resilience that they can bring back to their families, schools and organizations positively transforming relationships and communities. Our Networks Plan and Lead Resilience Week Virginia Since 2020, a week during Mental Health Awareness Month in May, where we celebrate the strengths and accomplishments of our communities and prioritize building relationships and community care. The Governor of Virginia has signed a Resilience Week proclamation every year drafted by members of Virginia's. We've cultivated strong partnerships with state departments, including Virginia Department of Social Services, Department of Health and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, who recognized the technique as an evidence based prevention strategy. In 2021, I worked with the governor's office to organize community conversations between then First Lady Pamela Northam and 18 of our network coordinators, where they were able to share their many accomplishments as well as the challenges and needs still existing in their communities to help inform the incoming administration. The vast majority of individuals who are building, coordinating and supporting these networks are doing it as volunteers or as part of their many other responsibilities in their roles within nonprofit or government agencies, just as I am. I've heard time and again of the need for funding to support our efforts to be able to pay staff dedicated to this work. We know the prevalence of trauma throughout our communities in the workforce is no exception. We've seen a great deal of turnover amongst frontline workers and those in helping professions. Many of our networks serve regions that are under-resourced and disproportionately impacted by adverse events and natural disasters. Despite these barriers, network leaders continue to show up and persevere to provide positive childhood experiences for young people in their communities, to spread awareness about how to build resilience across the lifespan and to cultivate relationships that sustain their communities and prevent further traumatization. These services take a tremendous amount of time and care. The community mental wellness and Resilience Act would provide much needed funding to support and expand this incredibly important work. Funding that would ease the stresses for those on the front lines, for those working behind the scenes, and for everyone in the community who benefits from the invaluable services these networks provide On behalf of Virginia's trauma informed community networks, I urge Congress to move to enact this important and necessary legislation. Thank you so much for this opportunity and for your time and consideration.
00:55:28 Thank you, Charlotte. Appreciate it. And lastly, I want to have you hear from Robin Sanger, the founding director of peace for Tarpon in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Robin. Are you on mute, Robin? Yes.
00:55:46 Yes. Thank you so much, Bob. Appreciate all that you do. And heartfelt appreciation, deep appreciation for everyone who's working to pass this very important bill. I thank you for this opportunity. I'm Robin Sanger, founding director of peace for Tarpon and Tarpon Springs, Florida. Piece for Tarpon began in 2010, making Tarpon Springs the first trauma informed community in the United States. I came to this work while serving my community as vice mayor when I began to notice that in spite of the many efforts to curb and reverse our most challenging issues, we really didn't seem to be gaining much traction. That's when I learned about the study and how unaddressed childhood trauma can show up throughout a lifetime, impacting individuals, families and communities. That changed everything for me. I could see a path to change that scenario. And so peace for Tarpon began. In the beginning, our focus was mainly education about trauma, what it is and its effects. But our understanding grew over time as we learned the powerful role resilience plays and realized the power of a resilient community. We to see community as medicine. We know that healing happens not in isolation, but in community. The for and peace for Tarpon stands for Connect, inform, Transform and heal. Everything we do aligns with one or more of those goals. In our first five years, although we had a few thousand dollars of seed money, we received over a million and a half dollars from pro bono and in-kind donations. That generosity demonstrated how much the community supported our efforts and embraced our motto, which asks everyone to contribute their unique piece to our work. The number of community member partners grew and with it their engagement and support. Our first partner was the city of Tarpon Springs, and we steadily expanded our reach to include the schools, our police and fire rescue businesses and nonprofits. But as we came to understand, our most devoted and valuable partners were and still are, our residents, thanks to our many relationships and partnerships, we respond quickly to community needs as they arise. All of our offerings are free of charge and include many trainings as well as community events. Here's a few examples. At the request of our police chief, we provided trainings for our first responders, followed by a training for loved ones of first responders. We hold a yearly education leaders breakfast at our Saint Petersburg College campus. Educators from early learning through college can meet and get to know each other while learning how to become more trauma informed and resilient in their work. We've had many trainings through our mental health provider partner, Suncoast, to educate parents and caregivers about how to keep their kids safe from sexual abuse. As we work to lower the rampant numbers of our children who experienced that one and 2 or 3 girls and one and 3 or 4 boys is what the data is showing us. We want our kids to grow up safe and healthy in a resilient, connected community. These are just a few examples. Over the past 13 plus years, peace for Tarpon has initiated, coordinated, sponsored and delivered dozens of significant trainings, community events and programs. We are a trusted community asset, and it's significant that our organization and accomplishments are also as an all volunteer organization. The requests of us are steadily growing, and with the increasing challenges of climate change, we will be dealing with even more stressors. Just last month, Hurricane Italia hit Florida, and even though the storm was 100 miles offshore when it passed us, Tarpon Springs experienced significant flooding and property loss. It was a traumatizing experience for many of our residents and business owners. The Community Mental Wellness Resilience Act of 2023 is a perfectly timed response. It's what we can do right now to prepare for a future we know will be knocking at our door every year. We're asking for your support for all the communities across the nation working to address their own increasing challenges. A growing number of these are inspired to create trauma informed and resilience building initiatives. In Florida alone, there is peace for tarpon, peace for Gainesville, Sarasota Strong, The River Phenix Center for Peace Building, Peace for Manasota. Peace for the Big Bend. And just recently, Pace's Hillsborough. Sometimes we're at the epicenter of just the right moment for something to emerge, and now is the time to support all of us in your hometowns and home states who are working right now to address the interconnected challenges of mental health and climate change while building community resilience. It's time to pass the Community Mental Wellness Resilience Act of 2023. This would support us. And what is the most important work of our time? Your support could be the tipping point that changes everything. We're all counting on it. Thank you for your time and kind attention. Back to you, Bob.
01:01:18 Thank you, Robin, so much. And thank thank you all for all of the work you do and all of you do. And as Robin just said, there are many other initiatives underway around the country. Also, just as a brief summary, only a few of the initiatives framed their work as a public health approach, but most are using that approach and none address all of the five foundational areas I discussed as our research identified. Because each is unique and they are organized to address the issues, needs and demographics of their community. There is no one size fits all approach, but if these if the existing initiatives are strengthened and thousands of new community initiatives are launched around the US, we can reduce today's mental health epidemic and prevent new ones as more extreme weather events and other disasters occur. So with that, I'd like you to hear from a number of national leaders of organizations, organizations in this field, and to hear their views on this bill and the need for it. And I want to introduce now Dr. David Sharon, who's a senior public health advisor to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. David.
01:02:38 Thank you, Bob. I was struggling to get myself unmuted there for a second. It's. It's terrific to be with everyone. Today I join all my fellow panelists with thanking the congressional representatives and senators for sponsoring this important legislation and underlining what Robin just said in terms of the fact that there's certainly no time more compelling than our current time in terms of what we're experiencing vis a vis natural disasters related to to the changing climate. So I'm here sort of wearing two hats today. First is I'm a founding member and ongoing board member of the Campaign for Trauma, Informed Policy and Practice. Jesse is our executive director and he's been doing a yeoman's job in terms of keeping us on track and managing all the technology and is also doing a yeoman's job in terms of promoting trauma informed communities throughout throughout the United States. I'm very proud to be associated with that. Formally today. I'm speaking on behalf of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. Nash represents all of the public mental health systems in the United States, all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and all of the territories. And so we literally are constantly in touch with the heartbeat of what's happening in public mental health around the United States. And certainly in speaking with the mental health commissioners, people running these systems throughout the United States, it's very clear that the mental health epidemic that everyone has talked about is showing up at the front door of the public mental health system as we speak with those commissioners about what their most important issues are. The top three issues are workforce, workforce and workforce. What keeps commissioners up at night is their inability to feel confident that they have the workforce in place to respond to the mental health needs of their communities, both outpatient and inpatient. And what the commissioners are coming to increasingly realize is that we're not going to solve these problems by just increasing treatment capacity. You know, as Bob and others have said, treatment is a critical component of a response to these issues, but we're just not going to solve ultimately solve the problem unless we begin to move upstream. And the Community Wellness and Resilience Act, Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023 seeks to start to build the infrastructure necessary to accomplish that goal by helping to energize and support of these community based coalitions, the examples of which we've had today that are just that are outstanding and inspiring, actually. So the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors strongly supports this act, and we see it as the as the strategy to start to address and prevent further development of mental health, substance use and other behavioral health problems associated with the increasing, frequently frequency of natural disasters and look forward to its enactment, hopefully in this legislative session. Thank you very much, Bob, back to you.
01:05:52 Thank you, David. Appreciate it. And now introduce introduce Sarah Butz, who's the director of public policy with the National Association of Social Workers.
01:06:00 Sarah, thank you so much, Bob. We join our colleagues on this call in thanking our congressional champions and all the co-sponsors of the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act. NSW strongly supports this bill. We represent the interest of over 700,000 social workers nationwide, and we are the largest professional social work organization in the world. Our social workers across many different settings within the community are are often involved with disaster response already. And our workforce understands how communities are impacted by natural disasters. And we are seeing these climate events increasing, which causes hardship and stress. NSW supports the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act because we need the full participation and strength of our communities as our mental health workforce alone cannot address the social impacts of the large scale adversities that we're facing. This investment would improve our response capacity and deploy a prevention strategy that's innovative. It's something we can do right now. We urge members of Congress to please co-sponsor the bill and to move it forward.
01:07:12 Thank you, Sarah. Appreciate it. And I now want to do Catherine Catalano, who's the deputy director of the Center for Climate and Health Equity at the American Public Health Association. Catherine.
01:07:25 Thank you, Bob. Hi, everyone. I just wanted to say today, after everyone's lovely remarks so far, that community level solutions and treatment options will be necessary to address America's growing mental health epidemic. Our mental health, human services and disaster mental health systems cannot assist all of the people who experience mental health problems today, and this gap will only grow over time. In addition, many people will not engage in treatment due to high costs and fear of being stigmatized, among other reasons. In 2021 alone, more than 1 in 5 American adults experienced a diagnosed mental illness, and more than 150 million people live in federally designated mental health professional shortage areas as of 2022. Using a public health approach to address mental health and wellness at the community level is critical as adults and children across the country are collectively dealing with population level traumas from things like rising violence, housing and food insecurity, Covid 19 and natural disasters. The Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023 would empower communities through a new federal grant program to craft their own locally specific responses to the mental health problems caused by disasters and toxic stresses in their communities so strongly supports the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023.
01:08:51 Thank you, Catherine. And I'll introduce Ruben Cantu, the director of Safety and Wellbeing Team at the Prevention Institute.
01:09:00 Thanks, Bob, and thank you to all of the House and Senate co-sponsors and to IRC for supporting and leading this effort. So I'm with Prevention Institute. We're a national organization based in Oakland, California, where we are now going into our third day of really unhealthy, smoky air drifting down to us from fires up north. More and more we hear about concerns from the communities we work with, about the rising incidence of extreme weather events and related mental health concerns. A recent project we did for CDC highlighted that the harms caused by catastrophic events create really significant strains on mental wellbeing and exacerbate risk factors for suicide and childhood trauma, including job loss, financial stress, social isolation and access to health care and other health promoting services. And as communities address these challenges, we really need to focus on those systems that can help apply a racial equity lens that are healing centered and trauma informed that address community conditions and that strengthen partnerships between communities and local governments. Our partners know and realize that mental health services alone won't prevent or heal distresses and traumas related to climate change, giving community members the opportunity to actively change the conditions around them that will exacerbate harm will have a huge impact on their well-being. The funding and technical assistance through the Community Mental Wellness and Resilient Resilience Act will help support these kinds of local strategies and strengthen resilience and enhance protective factors to prevent and heal from trauma. For all of those reasons, Prevention Institute is proud to endorse the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act, and we urge Congress to move quickly to enact it. Thank you.
01:10:51 Thanks, Ruben. And now I'd like to introduce Dr. Joshua Wurtzel, who's the chair of the Committee of Climate Change and Mental Health at the American Psychiatric Association.
01:11:02 Gosh. Thank you, Bob. Good afternoon. My name is Dr. Josh Wurtzel. I'm a psychiatrist and I serve as the chair of the American Psychiatric Associations Committee on Climate Change and Mental Health. The increasing rate and severity of natural disasters is undeniable. On a personal level, my state of Rhode Island experienced just last week catastrophic flooding, the likes of which we haven't seen in 200 years. I'm sure many of you have experienced similar extreme weather events this summer. These disasters and ones like them, unfortunately, carries significant mental health consequences. Heat waves and warmer temperatures are associated with higher rates of violence, suicide and mental health. Hospitalizations. Floods, droughts, wildfires and hurricanes contribute directly to psychological trauma, with associated increases in substance use and domestic violence. Many Americans who have not yet faced such disasters are experiencing what we call climate distress. This is a range of psychological responses, including fear, anger and grief about the natural disasters and effects from them that they expect to soon face. Natural disasters. No, no race or class. They produce physical and mental health effects, economic disruptions, housing and food insecurity, forced migration and other challenges for everyone they touch. But those who are already more vulnerable, including children and those economically and racially marginalized, often face the greatest obstacles in accessing resources to recover. There are unfortunately not enough mental health providers to assist everyone in need. 47% of Americans live in regions with a shortage of mental health services. We need the creative community level strategies that the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act will foster and support in the face of these acute and long term disruptions from natural disasters. This is an essential step to strengthening the mental health of our country. On behalf of the American Psychiatric Association and the greater community of psychiatrists, I'd like to thank our congressional champions for their leadership in introducing this bill. We hope Congress will consider this important legislation at the earliest opportunity. Thank you.
01:13:20 Thank you, Josh. Dr. Porto. Let me just summarize now. We are in a new era and we have to get our heads around this of relentless, accelerating, cascading toxic stresses, emergencies and extreme weather disasters and events. And the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act is landmark because it will expand the US approach to mental health. To address this new era of persistent, pervasive, traumatic stresses. And it'll do that by actively engaging communities, by funding and supporting communities in forming resilience, coordinating networks that use a public health approach to strengthen their residents capacity for mental wellness, resilience to prevent and heal, distresses and traumas of all kinds as they also engage their residents and solutions to local challenges. So resilience, coordinating networks are really going to be needed in every neighborhood and community nationwide as as these traumas, these traumatic stresses grow. And I want you to consider that all of you who are listening in, how can you organize and help organize and fund these in your state, in your region and in your community? Because we're really going to be needing these everywhere. The benefits of doing so will be far reaching. We will prevent and heal the stresses and traumas generated by all types of adversities. As you've heard many of the people talk about today, we will be able to protect the health, safety and well-being of individuals, families and the communities that as a whole, while we've reduced the the demands on mental and physical health care systems will strengthen the wellness and resilience of mental health, social work, human services, physical health and community safety providers. It will enhance employability and safeguard, help safeguard local businesses and the economy. And in many communities, as we're seeing around the US. It will help build the social efficacy and common purpose needed to address today's challenges. So if your organization supports the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act, we urge you to contact your House and Senate members to state your support and urge them to co-sponsor the legislation and swiftly enact it. We also urge you to please tell your members and your partners of your organizations, people you know and work with about the legislation, encourage them to contact their House and Senate members to urge enactment. And you can also add your organization's name to the list of over 150 national, state and local organizations that have already endorsed the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act. And next week I'd ask you to look for an email you'll get from us that gives you information about how you can go about accomplishing those three tasks. So we'll send you information about how you can contact your Senate and House members and information on how you can emails or information that you can send to your members and partners. And also a link to endorsing the legislation and a letter that will go to Congress after we get all the endorsements that are there. So I want to thank you for attending today's congressional briefing. If you have more want more information or have questions, we won't have time now today to take questions. But if you have questions or want more information, you can email us at T.R. at Trigg Hyphen cle org. There's much more information about the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act on our website and you can go there Http colon backslash backslash, it's coalition.org and you can look at that information. We appreciate your participating today, your interest in this and we really ask for you to now to help us and all of the co-sponsors of the briefing and others move this legislation forward. So thank you to all for all of you who have who participated today and all of the speakers. And we wish you all the best. Take care. Thank you all. Take care.