SARATOGA SPRINGS — Congressman Paul Tonko, NY-20, introduced legislation in the House of Representatives this week that would fund research to study the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on the mental health of Americans, and more specifically, health care providers.
”We have all heard stories of nurses returning home from a shift in the hospital and simply sobbing for hours at what they had seen. For those healthcare employees living with a mental illness, the anxiety and fear are magnified,” Congressman Tonko said, in a statement. “Our federal response must be one that addresses not only the physical, but also the mental health impacts caused by COVID-19. By examining these impacts, we can better support our medical professionals, emergency responders, families, and children alike and provide them with the necessary resources to recover from this pandemic.
The legislation authorizes $100 million each year for five years to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The bill will fund research on a variety of topics, the mental health impact of COVID–19 on health care providers, the long-term impacts of COVID-19 stressors on mental health, suicide prevention, and the effectiveness of strategies for implementation of services for underserved populations, among them.
The legislation is expected to pass as part of the next Coronavirus stimulus package.