NHPCO-Led Coalition Welcomes Introduction of GRIEF ACT in Congress
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2022
(Alexandria, VA) The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and its affiliate group, the Hospice Action Network (HAN) applaud today’s introduction of the Grief Resilience Investment and Education Fund (GRIEF) Act in the House of Representatives by Congressman Joe Morelle (NY-25).
If passed, the GRIEF Act would expand access to bereavement care by providing grant funding for health care providers, like hospices, to expand previously unfunded community grief support programs.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, grieving individuals, families, children, and communities need access to timely bereavement care that is provided by experts who are knowledgeable, experienced, and trained in helping others cope with grief. This legislation aims to ensure that Americans who have suffered from loss receive the care they need and deserve.
“For too long, mental health needs have gone unaddressed, casting a shadow over families contending with significant loss—especially during the pandemic, said Congressman Joe Morelle. “Establishing a National Grief Strategy will help people move forward with the help of skilled professionals creating a culture of awareness and support. It is my hope that this legislation helps end the stigma around mental health and ensure families can access the essential support they deserve.”
The bill provides funding for grief counseling for individuals and families, bereavement care for children, education and training for bereavement care providers and peer support, a national public information campaign, and research to examine the experience of complicated and prolonged grief and the efficiency of treatment approaches.
As the leading voice of the hospice community, NHPCO worked in collaboration with supporting organizations to garner Congressional support for this bill. Support comes from the American Psychological Association (APA), the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA), and the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWHPN).
“Compassion for individuals experiencing loss is at the heart of the collective hospice and palliative care community,” said Ben Marcantonio, COO and interim CEO of NHPCO and HAN. “The ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the urgency to care for grieving individuals, families, and communities. Many hospices are currently providing bereavement support to their communities without any funding. We are grateful for Representative Morelle’s leadership in moving this important legislation forward.” The GRIEF Act will ensure that Americans who have been directly impacted by loss receive the care they need and deserve.