CHA Statement Endorses Gun Violence Prevention Legislation
For more information, contact Elleni Almandrez
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) announces its endorsement of the Senate’s “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” and calls on Congress to swiftly pass the legislative package which will help keep our children safe.
Gun violence is a public health crisis for our children and their families. On the frontlines of pediatric emergency care, children’s hospitals treat children and teens as they heal from the physical and emotional wounds of gun violence.
Children’s hospitals are also seeing an unprecedented demand for mental health services, from primary care to emergency treatment, and we are encouraged to see the legislation includes initial investments in youth mental health and telehealth resources. These provisions in addition to mental health legislation in the House and Senate that provide vital pediatric-specific mental health workforce funding are needed to create the kind of transformational policy that will effectively address the national emergency in youth mental health.
We applaud the investments in youth mental health in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act including:
- Medicaid provisions, including a review of state implementation of EPSDT
- Telehealth guidance to improve access
- Funding for the pediatric mental health access program
CHA supports the bipartisan efforts to reach a compromise to pass meaningful gun violence prevention legislation and to improve access to school and community-based mental health services for children and families, especially those coping with traumatic experiences.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a good first step to safeguard our children and we look forward to working with Congress on transformative legislation focused on youth mental health investments in Medicaid, workforce and capacity.