Urge Support for Mental Health Resources for COVID-19 Health Care Providers

As you and your emergency medicine colleagues across the country continue your tireless efforts to advocate and care for your patients, ACEP continues to initiate and support legislative efforts in Congress to protect your health and well-being during these challenging times.

Recently, legislation that ACEP helped draft last year, the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act” (S. 610/H.R. 1667), was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The legislation would support, protect, and provide resources to emergency physicians and other health care workers who are facing physical and mental stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Named for ACEP member Dr. Lorna Breen, who was lost to suicide in April 2020, the bill would take major steps to reduce and prevent suicide and burnout and alleviate other mental health concerns that have only been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Although the COVID relief package currently being considered by Congress already contains funding for some of these programs, this authorizing legislation would be complementary and provide more specific guidance on how those grants should be distributed and overseen, as well as establish a study on barriers to seeking mental health support services for physicians and other health care providers.

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