ADA urges passage of mental health bill

Legislation aims to help prevent stress, burnout in health care workers

The American Dental Association signed on to a coalition letter supporting the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Reauthorization Act, which would reauthorize a federal grant program intended to increase mental health resources for health care workers, if enacted. 

Signed by more than 50 organizations, the letter is addressed to Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Todd Young, R-Ind., and Reps. Susan Wild, D-Pa., Jennifer Kiggans, R-Va., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Buddy Carter, R-Ga. The groups state that the original Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act has saved lives and must be reauthorized to “ensure that the vital programs it established continue to be available to our health care workforce.”

Lorna Breen, M.D., was a physician who supervised the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital. She died by suicide in 2020 after treating COVID-19 patients. 

“Access to mental and behavioral health support and treatment has improved and more employers are able to engage with their workforce on these issues, provide greater resources, and accelerate promising solutions,” the coalition wrote. “We have also been able to capitalize on this momentum to begin implementing overdue changes in licensing and credentialing processes that have unintentionally contributed to the stigma around seeking mental health care.”

The letter goes on to state that health care professionals continue to face significant mental and behavioral health conditions, suicide and burnout. The groups call for a continued effort to make mental health services available to health care professionals without the fear of loss of licensure or loss of income. 

The ADA supported the originating legislation in 2022 that aimed to prevent stress and burnout in health care workers. 

“When we take care of our health workforce, we ensure that patients have optimal care and support and that our health care systems can thrive. Thank you for standing up to protect those who care for all of us, and we stand ready to work with you to help secure swift reauthorization of this critical law,” the letter concludes. 

Follow all of the ADA's advocacy efforts at

Recommended Content


© 2023 American Dental Association