The following statement regarding the introduction of the Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (“RISE”) from Trauma Act should be attributed to Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer, ZERO TO THREE:
WASHINGTON — “Healthy social-emotional development is the bedrock of brain development. Not only do early relationships set the stage for later relationships, they also give babies the confidence to explore their world and teach them skills like persistence and cooperation so they can be successful learners. During a child’s first three years, their brain is growing faster than at any later point in life. These few years are a time to promote positive mental health and when early problems can be prevented, early intervention can be effective, and when disorders can be identified and treated. But that all depends on the presence of a highly skilled clinical workforce with specialized expertise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems in very young children.
“That is why ZERO TO THREE is excited to see the introduction of the Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (“RISE”) from Trauma Act (S. 1770, H.R. 3180) by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), along with Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.). Building upon federal trauma-informed legislation passed in 2018, the RISE from Trauma Act would expand the trauma-informed workforce and increase resources for communities. In particular, this bill would establish an Infant and Early Childhood Clinical Mental Health (IECMH) Leadership Program to award grants to establish training institutes and centers of excellence for IECMH.
“In far too many communities across this country, there is not a single mental health clinician with the training required to assess, diagnose, and treat problems in young children. These highly skilled clinicians have a deep understanding of child development, child and adult mental health, and the relationships between caregivers and children, and are able to work therapeutically with adults and young children both individually and together. State policymakers across the country are grappling with extreme IECMH clinical provider shortages and doing their best to leverage limited resources to expand the size, capacity, and quality of the clinical workforce.
“ZERO TO THREE looks forward to working with Senators Durbin and Capito and their colleagues in Congress to move this critical piece of legislation, creating the first federal effort designed specifically with the needs and realities of the IECMH workforce in mind.
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/ZEROTOTHREE or follow @ZEROTOTHREE on Twitter.