Press Releases

Kuster-Backed Bills Prioritizing First Responders’ Mental Health, Reducing Infant Mortality Pass Energy and Commerce Committee

Washington, DC, July 15, 2020

**Energy and Commerce Committee holds virtual markup of 30 bipartisan bills**

**Watch Rep. Kuster speak in committee here**

Hopkinton, NH – Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) participated in a virtual Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up, where she spoke in support of the HERO Act of 2019 and Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act. Seven bills that Rep. Kuster has cosponsored were approved by the Committee including the HERO Act which would ensure first responders have the support necessary to respond to mental health needs. The Committee also passed the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act which would improve national guidelines and data consistency for sudden infant death and sudden unexpected death for children as well as offer support for affected families. Kuster’s family has been personally affected by SIDS, as she lost her great-niece, Lia, to SIDS a year and a half ago.

“First responders across the country are struggling with increases in depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kuster. “These men and women encounter levels of daily stress that many of us cannot fathom. I am proud to support the HERO Act to ensure these Americans have the tools they need to maintain mental health and wellness.”

“A year and a half ago, my family and I lost my great-niece, Lia, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,” said Kuster. “Our family will never be the same without our Lia, but we have the opportunity to save families from the same heartache and devastation by advancing legislation like the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act. This bill can help us better understand sudden infant death and sudden unexpected death for children by improving national guidelines and data consistency as well as offer support for families.”

A strong advocate for the improvement of mental health services, Kuster pushed for solutions to help Americans prioritize mental health and wellness in times of crisis in a June Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing. In March, Kuster advocated for the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act in committee by sharing the story of her great-niece, Lia. 

Watch Rep. Kuster speak in committee here.

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