WASHINGTON (WFXR) – Last week, Senator Tim Kaine applauded the House passage of his bipartisan bill, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act – which aims to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals.

Having passed the House, as well as the Senate, the bill is now one step closer to becoming law.

“The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on the mental health of our nation’s health care workers. This legislation will work to prevent burnout and suicide among our nation’s healers by providing them with the mental health support they need. I thank my co-leads in the Senate and the House for helping get this legislation to this crucial milestone, and I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

The bill has been named in honor of Dr. Lorna Breen, a Charlottesville physician who was working on the frontlines of the pandemic in New York when she died by suicide in the Spring of 2020.

The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act will accomplish the following:

  • Establish grants for health profession schools, academic health centers, or other institutions to help them train health workers in strategies to prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders. The grants would also help improve health care professionals’ well-being and job satisfaction.
  • Seek to identify and disseminate evidence-informed best practices for reducing and preventing suicide and burnout among health care professionals, training health care professionals in appropriate strategies, and promoting their mental and behavioral health and job satisfaction.
  • Establish a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals to encourage them to seek support and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
  • Establish grants for health care providers and professional associations for employee education, peer-support programming, and mental and behavioral health treatment; health care providers in current or former COVID-19 hotspots will be prioritized.
  • Establish a comprehensive study on health care professional mental and behavioral health and burnout, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on such professionals’ health.

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