FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2015
Adam Sachs, 301-628-5034
Jemarion Jones, 301-628-5198
AMERICAN NURSES ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR ACTION
IN WAKE OF RECENT MASS SHOOTINGS
SILVER SPRING, MD – In the wake of recent mass shootings in Lafayette, La., Chattanooga, Tenn. and Charleston, S.C., the American Nurses Association (ANA) today urges President Obama, Congress, and policymakers at the state and local levels to take swift action to develop solutions that will help prevent senseless acts of violence.
“Like the rest of the nation, America’s nurses grieve the unthinkable loss and profound tragedy that unfolded last night in Lafayette. While these shocking incidents grab our attention, the grim reality is that gun violence is a daily occurrence in many communities across our country. Often the common thread in these shootings is the lethal combination of easy access to guns and inadequate access to mental health services,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
“We must confront the epidemic of gun violence is this country and take action now to prevent more of these tragedies from occurring,” she said.
ANA is calling on policymakers to:
- Ban assault weapons and enact other effective gun control reforms to protect society.
- Restore access to mental health services for individuals and families.
As the largest single group of health care professionals, registered nurses witness firsthand the devastation from the injuries sustained from gun violence. Nurses also witness the trauma of individuals, families, and communities impacted by violence.
The public mental health system has sustained a period of devastating cuts over time. These cuts were exacerbated during the recession despite an increase in the demand for services for all populations, including our nation’s veterans. States have cut vital services, such as community and hospital-based psychiatric care, housing, and access to medications. Looming budget cuts could lead to further cuts in services.
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ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.4 million registered nurses through its constituent and state nurses associations and its organizational affiliates. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. Please visit www.nursingworld.org for more information.