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The RISE from Trauma Act – an Important Reason to Contact Your Senators

UPDATE 9/27/21: The RISE from Trauma Act is still in committee…now is a GREAT time to reach out to your Senators to get them behind this legislation. Six senators are sponsoring this bipartisan bill at this point. See below on how you can reach out.

Now, before Congress heads into an August recess, is a great time to call your Senators to tell them to get behind the bipartisan RISE from Trauma Act (Resilience Investment, Support & Expansion) – Senate Bill 2086.

This bill was introduced June 16, 2021 by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and could become a part of the $3.5 trillion funding package currently under consideration.

The bill will provide grants for community programming related to preventing and mitigating the impact of trauma and toxic stress.  Community entities that will be comprise the groups eligible for funding under this act will be government agencies, higher education institutions, local education agencies (aka public school systems), non-profits, community faith-based and social services organizations.

The bill seeks to establish guidelines for training and certifying community leaders and create a National Health Service Corps, as well as increase tools for all those working with children impacted by trauma.

How can I reach out?

The easiest way is to use this incredible tool from CTIPP(Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice) that will send an automatic email to your state’s senators, giving you an opportunity to customize   

You can also email or call your Senators’ offices directly with your own message.  Make sure you tell them that you’re a constituent and that you support SB 2086.  Then tell them why.  Citing data and talking points is good. 

But it’s equally important to share your own personal story.  If you’re a teacher seeing the impacts of trauma on your students’ ability to learn, say so.  If you’re parenting a child who has come from a background of trauma, describe what that’s like and the challenges of finding specialized therapies and other services.

Want to take it a step further – request a meeting

Is your Senator on the HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee? Click on the last sentence to go to their website and then scroll to the bottom of this webpage to see all the committee members.  If so, it’s especially important for them to hear from their constituents about how important the funding and guidelines for trauma-informed initiatives are. 

You can request a meeting in person (during their August recess, perhaps) or via phone or zoom, which will give you more of an opportunity to explain the importance of the RISE from Trauma Act to your organization’s work or to you personally.  Here’s a summary/fact sheet on SB 2086 to help you prepare.

Here’s an example letter offered from CTIPP to get you started:

Dear [Insert Senate staffer name],

I am writing to you today to request a meeting on behalf of the [Insert Coalition/Organization name]. As a group, we are concerned about the lasting impacts of trauma on the families and children in our community. I would like to introduce you to our organization, our work, how we are preventing and addressing trauma in the state, and how the bi-partisan RISE From Trauma Act (S. 2086) will improve the lives of the children and families the Senator represents.

The timeliness of meeting now relates to our request that the Senator sign on as a co-sponsor to the bi-partisan Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (RISE) from Trauma Act, introduced by Senators Durbin, Capito, Duckworth and Murkowski.  

We are [Insert a brief description of your group, e.g. # of members, statewide reach, vision/mission, etc.].

There is additional information about the RISE From Trauma Act below my signature. Please feel free to reach me at [insert email address; insert phone number].

I look forward to meeting you!

Sincerely,

[Insert your name]

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