Physicians Applaud Passage of Lorna Breen Act to Prioritize Mental Health
On behalf of the nearly 600,000 physicians and medical students that our organizations represent, we commend the passage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (H.R. 1667), which will address the mental health needs of our nation’s doctors by investing in programs to protect their mental health and end the stigma medical professionals often face when seeking necessary treatment and support.
Our organizations strongly support legislation that invests in behavioral health care for physicians. The Lorna Breen Act is a milestone policy that, through vital grants to health care entities and long overdue investments in mental health resources, will help prevent incidences of suicide, substance use disorders, and other mental health conditions among physicians. In addition, the legislation aims to address medical professional ‘burnout’, an issue that has become even more prevalent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’re also pleased that this bipartisan, bicameral legislation supports research on health care professionals’ mental and behavioral health, including how best to heal from the pandemic’s detrimental impact on the health care community. Amid a public health emergency, this is more important than ever.
Research shows that physicians in the U.S. face higher incidence of suicide than almost any other profession, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated personal hardships as physicians continue caring for patients, themselves and their families. The passage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act is timely and critical to ensuring our nation’s ability to respond to the mental health needs of physicians and other health care professionals.
We thank Congress for their leadership in developing this important legislation and look forward to President Biden signing it into law.
About the American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 133,500 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.
About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
About the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 62,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. www.acog.org.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 168,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. To learn more about DOs and the osteopathic philosophy of medicine, visit www.osteopathic.org.
About the American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,400 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.