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Violence and suicide prevention

Supporting legislation to fund mental health services for communities impacted by gun violence

Legislation includes a new focus on addressing trauma related to exposure to community violence.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, September 29). Supporting legislation to fund mental health services for communities impacted by gun violence. http://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/mental-health-services-gun-violence

People at a candlelight vigil

On September 28, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Preventing and Addressing Trauma with Health Services (PATHS) Act to fund mental health services for individuals impacted by gun violence. The legislation differs from previous efforts in Congress that fund prevention and intervention services by focusing on individuals processing the trauma that comes from experiencing violence in their neighborhoods. “This bill marks an important step forward in investing the resources necessary to increase access to trauma support and mental health services that so many individuals impacted by violence need,” said APA CEO Arthur Evans Jr., PhD, in Senator Coons’s press release expressing the association’s support for the legislation. The PATHS Act is expected to receive wide-scale support from influential senators and could potentially be included in future budgetary considerations in the coming weeks.

For more information, contact Ben Vonachen, senior director of congressional and federal relations.