WASHINGTON (December 14, 2022) – As communities face extreme weather, worsening epidemics and rising temperatures, Senator Edward J. Markey, Democratic Massachusetts, announced today: Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the first of its kind to fund community-based mental health and resilience programs designed to address the complex systemic mental health challenges facing communities. legislation establishing a $30 million pilot grant program. Bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. Americans today are facing a mental health crisis, according to. American Psychological Associationexacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, Weakening of community structuresthese combine to make the mental health of frontline environmental justice communities more vulnerable as they experience an intensifying climate disaster.
“Across the country, the environmental justice community is navigating the compounding crises of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing climate disasters, including raging wildfires, historic droughts and devastating floods.” Senator Markey said. “People are losing their homes to climate disasters and loved ones to worsening pandemics. It has never been clearer that our mental health is linked to the health of our planet. , are on the front lines of ensuring that our friends, families and neighbors get the help they need when they need it, and are most affected by the health care and climate crisis.Investing in Climate and Public Health in Congress As we work to ensure that health is at the forefront of these crises, we must also do our part to enable communities to protect their mental health in times of worry, stress and uncertainty. Families in deserving deserving access to community resources for all aspects of their well-being.”
“In every corner of the country, communities are experiencing climate disruption. It’s important to recognize that.” Senator Markley said. “The climate crisis is disproportionately impacting the health, economic opportunities and basic rights of future generations. Checking is critical to addressing the complex mental health issues experienced by individuals and families in these communities.”
“This law provides important mental health resources for those on the front lines of climate change.” Senator Blumenthal said. “Affected Americans who are coping with the aftermath of droughts, superstorms, and increasingly frequent devastating events deserve our support. , ensuring healthier and stronger communities tomorrow.”
Co-hosts are Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat, Connecticut, and Jeff Markley, Democrat, Oregon. Representatives Paul Tonko (NY-20) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced House of Representatives with co-hosts Cathy Castor (FL-14), David Torrone (MD-06), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Katie Porter (CA-45) and Mary Peltra (AK) Related legislation.
of Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act Endorsed by over 115 organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, National Mental Health Alliance, National Association of Social Workers, American Public Health Association, Mental Health America, National Association of Mental Health Program Directors, Children’s and more. Environmental Health Network, American Anxiety and Depression Association, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environment, American Lung Association. Campaigns such as Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice, International Transformational Resilience Coalition, EcoAmerica, American Association on Health and Disability, The Kennedy Forum, Health Care Without Harm, PACEs Connection, Climate Psychiatry Alliance, Green Faith.
“Senator Edward Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts) voted community mentality as a companion bill to HR 9201 introduced in the House by Rep. Paul Tonko (Democrat-New York) and Brian Fitzpatrick (Republican-Pennsylvania). I applaud you for introducing the Wellness and Resilience Act.” Said Bob Doppelt, Coordinator, International Transformational Resilience Coalition. “Our country is experiencing a prevalence of mental health and psychosocial problems, and as the climate emergency accelerates, the problem will only grow. We can’t help all Americans who are sick, and Senator Markey’s introduction of CMWRA strengthens our ability to use public health approaches to prevent and cure mental health problems for all residents. By supporting community initiatives, we have come closer to expanding our national commitment to mental health.”
“The American Psychiatric Association strongly supports the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act introduced by Senator Ed Markey in the Senate and by Rep. Paul Tonko and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in the House.” Saul Levin, MD, MPA, APA CEO and Medical Director, said: “This forward-looking proposal focuses on strategies to increase the capacity of communities to cope with the mental health impacts of acute and long-term disruptions from natural disasters, as well as other public health impacts of climate change. The APA strongly supports this legislation to promote resilience and mental health in communities across the country.”
“America’s current approach to disasters is too reactionary to provide assistance after a traumatic event.” Jesse Kohler, Executive Director of Campaign for Trauma-Based Policy and Practice, said:“This law builds community partnerships and helps prepare for disasters. Strong communities heal more quickly and reduce the mental health effects that can ripple through communities. I thank Senator Markey for his leadership.”
“The Trauma Resources Institute applauds Senator Ed Markey’s implementation of the Community Mental Wellness and Resiliency Act.” Elaine Miller-Kalas, TRI Co-Founder and Director of Innovation, said: “It is imperative that we build the infrastructure across the country needed to prepare our citizens for the array of mental health challenges associated with climate change. This policy provides coordinated support and funding for community-based resilience-building initiatives.”
“Thank you Senator Ed Markey for introducing the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act in the Senate.” Said Katie Huffling, executive director of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. “Nurses understand the importance of a proactive and holistic approach that underpins mental health and resilience. We need multidisciplinary solutions, with input and consideration from communities, individuals with comorbidities), and the legislation introduced by Senator Markey will go a long way in addressing this need.”
“It is critical that people’s health problems associated with recurring natural disasters are addressed systematically and promptly. Inadequate attention is paid to the psychological effects of Dr. David Shahn, senior associate in the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, said: Senior Public Health Advisor for the National Association of Mental Health Program Directors. “Fortunately, we have the tools to meet this challenge, but we need the policies and resources to implement them. will help.”
“The National Association of Social Workers sincerely thanks Senator Edward Markey for introducing the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act.” Sarah Butts, MSW, Public Policy Director, National Association of Social Workers. “Social workers are on the front lines helping individuals, families and communities stay safe, healthy and resilient during and after adversity. For people enduring trauma from natural disasters and other stressors. , forming mutual support networks in neighborhoods and communities is key to healing and recovery.NASW funds community-based initiatives that build individual and collective psychological and emotional resilience. We strongly support this law.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed the urgency to pass the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act to help all communities build resilience against adversity of all kinds.” Becky Turner, Community Engagement Director for Community Resilience Initiatives in Walla Walla, Washington, said:“We need to follow the science and focus on weaving trauma-informed resilience-based practices into the fabric of our communities. We see it helping communities overcome adversity and associated health consequences.For this reason, we strongly support Senator Markey’s introduction of the CMWA.”