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CTIPP Applauds Unanimous Senate Committee Passage of Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act

CTIPP endorsed the legislation and worked with Senator Durbin, Senator Portman, and Representative Pressley to secure unanimous Committee passage to expand mental health support for survivors of natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs unanimously passed S. 3677, the Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act. The legislation provides states, tribes, and territories with resources for survivors of disasters that receive an Emergency Declaration.

There have been over 4,000 Emergency Declarations over the last decade, including for winter storms, hurricanes, and terrorist attacks, including the Boston Marathon bombing.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (Program), which reimburses community-based mental health support for Major Disaster Declarations, are not currently available following these types of disasters.

This legislation would change that, making the Program accessible after Emergency Declarations, so communities can prevent the rise in mental health and substance use disorders, suicide, and PTSD that often occur following such events.

Since the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) endorsed the Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act in November 2021, the bill has gotten several steps closer to becoming law.

“The Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act is necessary and overdue legislation that would provide free, community-based mental health support following a disaster, like a flood, hurricane, or mass violence event,” said Jesse Kohler, Executive Director of CTIPP. “Disaster can strike anywhere, and trauma can impact everyone, so this is a unifying policy issue. With adequate resources, we can mitigate mental health challenges and suffering, as well as the costs they impose at all levels of government. Today’s progress brings us one significant step closer to advancing healing and resilience. We look forward to supporting its swift passage on the House and Senate floor.”

This legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Dina Titus (D-NV-01), David McKinley (R-WV-01), and Peter Meijer (R-MI-03) as well as in the U.S. Senate by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH).

CTIPP will continue to work with the bill’s sponsors to increase support for the legislation and secure final passage in the House and Senate. You can read more about this legislation here.

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The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) is the leading 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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