(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) today joined Representative David Trone (D-MD), Denver Riggleman (R-VA), and Danny K. Davis (D-IL) in urging House leadership to prioritize funding for trauma-related programs to support America's young people and their families in future coronavirus aid packages.

The Members wrote: "Fear and anxiety about a disease like COVID-19 can be overwhelming for both adults and children. If left unaddressed for children and teens, childhood traumatic stress can have long-term effects lasting far beyond the pandemic, including an increased likelihood to suffer from chronic health problems and mental illness as an adult. The letter requests $80 million in grant funding for schools to link educational institutions with mental health agencies and $20 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network."

“We must act now to invest in the long-term mental health care of our children and young people, who are experiencing increased stress and anxiety because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Trone (D-MD). “The coronavirus will only exacerbate the high levels of youth suicide and mental illness in our country. We need to make sure we give families and communities the evidence-based tools they need to mitigate the effects of this epidemic on our most vulnerable populations.”

“Millions of Americans, including young people, suffer the lasting impact of traumatic stress every day,” said Rep. Riggleman (R-VA). “During this time of pandemic that can cause and exacerbate traumatic stress, we cannot forget their need. I’m proud to co-sign this letter asking Congress to provide funding for trauma-informed care that is integral to the long term health of our youth.”

“Trauma and pandemic go hand in hand. Trauma Informed Care is one of the most effective and efficient responses we have to such trauma,” said Rep. Davis (D-IL). “Rolling out an expansion of Trauma Informed Care ought to be a priority for our response to COVID-19.”

The letter was also signed by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), John Yarmuth (D-KY), Donna Shalala (D-FL), Josh Harder (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Andre Carson (D-IN), Susan Wild (D-PA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Jahana Hayes (D-CT).

You can see a copy of the letter here.