I live in your district and direct/work with __________ (organizational name). This note is to urge you to co-sponsor the bi-partisan Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act that was introduced last week by Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). This legislation will support and fund community-based initiatives that use a public health approach to strengthen the capacity for mental wellness and resilience among all adults and youth for all types of chronic stresses and acute disasters.
More information about the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act can be found in the Dear Colleague letter below from Reps. Tonko and Fitzpatrick. Please consider co-sponsoring this much needed legislation.
__________ (Your name, position, and organization)
Support Bipartisan Bill to Empower Communities with Resilience & Mental Wellness
Sending Office: Honorable Paul Tonko
Sent By: Emily.Silverberg@mail.house.gov
Request for Cosponsor(s)
Cosponsor the Bipartisan Community Mental Wellness & Resilience Act Endorsed by over 100 supporting organizations including:
American Lung Association; American Public Health Association; American Psychiatric Association; American Psychological Association, ecoAmerica; Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice; Climate Psychiatry Alliance; International Transformational Resilience Coalition (ITRC); Mental Health America; National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); The National Association of Social Workers (NASW); National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors; National Council for Mental Wellbeing.
Cosponsors: Tonko, Fitzpatrick, Castor
Please join us in supporting the Community Mental Wellness & Resilience Act, a bipartisan bill that will tackle the nation’s mental health crisis head-on by addressing the extensive community trauma caused by natural disasters and toxic stresses.
In 2021 alone, more than 1 in 5 American adults experienced a diagnosed mental illness. In addition to the studies showing that nearly 50 million American adults suffered from a diagnosed mental illness last year, a 2022 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey found that more than a third of American high school students reported poor mental health, including stress, anxiety, and depression.
In 2021 more that 40 percent of Americans lived in a County impacted by a major natural disaster. Disasters only exacerbate the problem, with surveys showing more than 40 percent of those directly impacted by a disaster are traumatized by the experience. Consequently, the number of people who experience a mental health problem as a result of a natural disaster often outweigh those with physical injuries by 40 to 1.
Natural disasters and toxic stresses bring significant upheaval and real trauma to our communities, and it is time for Congress to take action to empower those communities to respond to this growing challenge. We hope you will join us in supporting this resilience building legislation.
The Community Mental Wellness & Resilience Act addresses this growing problem by:
- Establishing a program at the CDC to create, operate, or expand community-based programs that use a public health approach to build mental wellness and resilience
- These programs will work to enhance the capacity of all residents for mental wellness and resilience to prevent and heal mental health problems generated by disasters and toxic stresses
- Community initiatives will develop their own age and culturally appropriate strategies to enhance and sustain population-level mental wellness and resilience, with specific attention to high-risk individuals
We humbly ask for you support H.R. 9201, the Community Mental Wellness & Resilience Act. To join as cosponsor or for additional information please contact Emily Silverberg in Congressman Tonko’s office at Emily.Silverberg@mail.house.gov or Jacqueline Collie in Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office at Jacqueline.Collie@mail.house.gov.
Congressman Paul Tonko Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick