Last week, Senate leadership announced a bipartisan deal on its opioid package, expressing hope for a vote as early as this week. As this week unfolded with storm threats and other activities, the vote has been pushed to next week. The package includes greater than 70 proposals from five separate committees going through amendment for inclusion into the House-passed opioid bill, H.R. 6.

In response to a staff update from the office of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities sent an email of support to Kathlyn Ehl on the House Education & Workforce Committee for her diligence in ensuring the trauma provisions remain in the final bill. The Alliance acted earlier this year in its letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension, to include trauma provisions consistent with the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Practices policy brief and work of the Alliance’s Change in Mind Institute. Show your support to Ehl for the inclusion of the following provisions:  

  • Sec. 1513: Federal Task Force: Creates a multiagency federal task force to recommend best practices for identifying, referring, and supporting children and families that have experienced trauma. The task force will raise awareness, establish a national strategy to address child trauma, and promote trauma-informed best practices across dozens of federal grant programs (home visiting, education, health care, criminal justice)
  • Sec. 1514: School Grants: Creates a demonstration grant program to integrate mental health services into schools, which will increase student access to trauma-informed care  
  • Sec. 1515: Community Grants: Increases funding authorization by $7 million (up to $54 million, the highest-ever funding level) for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, which provides grants to improve trauma-informed care
  • Sec. 1506: Data Collection: Authorizes funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect data from states on exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to understand the state-specific causes and impacts of trauma
  • Sec. 1416: Clinician Workforce: Expands the National Health Services Corps loan repayment program to clinicians who serve in schools, the community, and in-home visiting programs 
  • Sec. 1502: Graduate Education: Enhances masters-level graduate school education for behavioral health and social work professionals by providing funding for training in understanding ACEs and addressing trauma through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Behavioral Health Workforce and Education Training program.

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