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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to provide community-based, healing support to communities following disasters.
The CTIPP-endorsed legislation, Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act, extends the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) to be available following Emergency Declarations, in addition to Major Disaster Declarations.
In the last decade, more than 4,000 Emergency Declarations have occurred, including the 2013 Boston marathon attack, the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, the 2021 Surfside condominium collapse, and thousands of destructive natural disasters. None of those communities were eligible for the CCP.
“From hurricanes, wildfires, and floods to terrorist attacks and building collapses, community-based emergencies can take a physical and emotional toll on residents, which can last for generations, increasing substance use disorder, suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” said Jesse Kohler, CTIPP’s Executive Director. “We applaud the U.S. House for supporting trauma-informed solutions so communities can use valuable resources that empower healing. Investing in resources like peer support groups, educational events on trauma and healing, and emotional support phone lines staffed by locals will help communities work together to repair and recover from within. We thank Representatives Pressley, Titus, McKinley, Meijer, and Senators Durbin and Portman for their leadership on this important legislation.”
The legislation was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2023. The Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act was introduced in the U.S. House (H.R. 5703) by Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Dina Titus (D-NV-01), David McKinley (R-WV-01), and Peter Meijer (R-MI-03). The U.S. Senate version (S. 3677) was introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
The U.S. Senate will vote on the legislation over the coming weeks, and President Joe Biden has until December 31, 2022, to sign it into law. CTIPP will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.
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The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) is a national nonprofit committed to creating a trauma-informed society where individuals, families, and communities have the support and resources necessary to thrive. Through advocacy, policy, and education, CTIPP is building a movement that integrates trauma-informed, resilience-focused, and healing-centered prevention, intervention, and treatment approaches across all sectors and generations.
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#TransformTrauma | #HOPEisNEAR
Natural Disasters are Traumatic: Urge Congress to Support Three Bills to Help Communities Heal (October 2022)
Policy Brief: Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act (August 2022)
CTIPP Leads National Advocacy Groups Urging Congress to Call a Vote on Disaster Act (May 2022
CTIPP Applauds Unanimous U.S. House Committee Passage of Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act (April 2022)
CTIPP Applauds Unanimous Senate Committee Passage of Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act (March 2022)
Bipartisan, Bicameral Federal Legislation Would Expand Mental Health & Trauma Support Resources (February 2022)