SILVER SPRING, MD—The American Nurses Association (ANA) applauds the U.S. Congress for passing landmark gun safety legislation that will take meaningful action to address serious public health crises in the United States. The bill heads to President Biden and it is anticipated that he will sign it into law soon. The following statement is attributable to ANA President Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN:
“The passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act marks one of the most significant steps Congress has taken to reduce gun violence in decades. As the nation’s largest group of health care professionals, nurses know firsthand the horrible toll that guns have taken on our families and communities. This bill begins to address some of the core issues underlying the public health issue of gun violence by implementing common-sense policies that nurses and other health care professionals have long supported. Critically, this legislation is the result of bipartisan compromise. I want to thank its champions in the United States Congress who worked tirelessly across the aisle to ensure this package crossed the finish line.”
The legislation includes significant investments in mental health, school safety, and school mental services. Notably, it will provide $250 million for the Community Mental Health Services Block grant which enable States, the District of Columbia, and territories to expand access to mental health care. It will provide funding to increase awareness of mental health issues among school aged children; and to train school personnel and other adults who interact with school aged children to detect and respond to mental health issues.
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The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.3 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
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