DearColleague.us

Letter

Mark DeSaulnier

From the office of:

Mark DeSaulnier

Sending Office: Honorable Mark DeSaulnier
Sent By:
Mia.Mazer@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Deadline: COB March 10th

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in sending the below letter to the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee requesting $73.9 million in appropriations for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) grant program for Fiscal Year 2021.

NCSTN develops and promotes effective community practices for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events. The network includes 100 funded and over 150 affiliate centers located nationwide in universities, hospitals, and community-based
organizations with thousands of national and local partners. An important component of its work has been the delivery of resources, training, and consultation to support the development of trauma-informed child-serving systems, including in disaster settings.

Research demonstrates that as many as 80% of children and adolescents are exposed to traumatic events, with many exposed to multiple traumatic events. In the U.S., 94% of children (approximately 73 million in 2016) live in communities at risk
of natural disasters. Studies show that the negative impact of child trauma – if not recognized and treated early in life – can increase the likelihood of later adverse physical and behavioral health outcomes. Given the increase in frequency and intensity
of disasters experienced throughout the U.S. and the high risk of subsequent trauma experienced by children, the program is in need of a funding increase.

I hope you will join me in this effort to support children, their families, and communities to improve mental and behavioral health outcomes early in life. To sign on to this letter, please fill out the form here by Tuesday,
March 10th
. If you have any questions, please contact Mia Mazer in my office at mia.mazer@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

 

Mark DeSaulnier
Member of Congress

Letter Text

 

Dear Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole,

As you develop the Fiscal Year 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, we respectfully request that you fund the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) grant program at an
amount of at least $73.9 million, which is a $5 million increase over Fiscal Year 2020.

NCSTN develops and promotes effective community practices for children and adolescents exposed to a wide array of traumatic events. The network includes 100 funded and over 150 affiliate centers located nationwide in universities, hospitals, and community-based
organizations with thousands of national and local partners.

NCTSN is dedicated to raising the standard of care and improving access to evidence-based services for children experiencing trauma, their families, and communities. An important component of this work has been the delivery of resources, training, and consultation
to support the development of trauma-informed child-serving systems. Network members work together within and across diverse settings, including a wide variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Studies show that as many as 80 percent of children and adolescents are exposed to traumatic events, with many exposed to multiple traumatic events.[1] In
the U.S., 94 percent of children (approximately 73 million in 2016) live in communities at risk of natural disasters. Studies show that the negative impact of child trauma – if not recognized and treated early in life – can increase the likelihood of later
adverse physical and behavioral health outcomes.[2] Children are especially vulnerable to the impacts of disasters, given their developmental challenges
and emergency response that often overlooks children’s unique needs.

In Fiscal Year 2019, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supported 100 grant continuations and provided supplemental awards for mental health services for unaccompanied children, with a special focus on children who were
separated from a parent or family unit as well as mental health services for children affected by disaster in Puerto Rico. According to SAMHSA, data collected in FY19 demonstrated that NCTSN grantees provided screenings to over 60,000 individuals and evidence-based
treatment to over 59,000 children, adolescents, and family members. Seventy percent reported positive functioning at six months. Thousands more stand to benefit from these services, as disasters increase in frequency and intensity, causing breakdowns in social
networks, neighborhoods, and local economies and disrupt children and families’ lives.[3]

In Fiscal Year 2021, we request that funding be increased to $73.9 million for the NCTSN to accommodate the increased need for services for children affected by disasters, and also include the following report language:

The Committee recognizes the ongoing threat to mental health posed to our nation’s children and families as a result of increasing frequency and intensity of natural and manmade technological disasters. Children who experience traumatic stress may struggle
with a wide range of childhood developmental capabilities, including social and educational functioning, and are at higher risk of later adverse physical, mental, and behavioral health outcomes if not recognized and addressed at an early stage. For this reason,
the Committee strongly encourages that funding for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network be used to address child trauma as a result of natural and technological manmade disasters.

Increased investment in the NCTSN is critical to ensuring not only that children who experience traumatic stress are supported using evidence-based and trauma-informed mental health services, particularly as we experience more frequent and intense disasters,
but also to ensure that children experiencing traumatic stress are provided with the tools and resources to grow into resilient and healthy adults.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

 


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983688/

[2] https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-
sheet/impact_of_natural_technological_disasters_on_children_families_communities.pdf

[3] https://www.nap.edu/catalog/18996/healthy-resilient-and-sustainable-communities-after-disasters-strategies-opportunities-and

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