Newtown, Conn. – Today, Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN-02) and Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23) joined by original co-sponsors Representatives Maria Salazar (R-FL-27) and David Trone (D-MD-06) introduced the Kids Providing Resources for Optimal Outcomes Against Fatalities Act of 2023 or Kid PROOF Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill helps address rising rates of youth suicide and overdose. Sandy Hook Promise worked with members of Congress to draft this bipartisan legislation.
The bipartisan bill will provide grants for health care providers to purchase lockboxes or safes to help families of children who may be at risk of suicide or overdose to store medications or other potentially dangerous items.
Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, issued the following statement in response:
“Today, members of Congress took an important step to help prevent tragedies at home. The ‘Kid PROOF Act’ will give parents and families the support they need to protect kids by giving grants for lockboxes and safes to keep potentially lethal items away from children and teens. With the grants provided by children’s health care providers, the ‘Kid PROOF Act’ will support families in addressing rising rates of youth suicide and overdose.
“We commend Representatives Craig (D-MN), Gonzales (R-TX), Trone (D-MD), and Salazar (R-FL) for their leadership in introducing this bipartisan bill. In doing so, they are prioritizing our children and taking an important step to stem violence and youth suicide”
“Our bipartisan legislation takes an informed, compassionate, evidence-based approach to keeping kids safe, and I’m grateful for Rep. Gonzales’ partnership on this important issue,” said Congresswoman Angie Craig. “As a mother and a grandmother, I’ll do everything I can to help parents keep their children safe and healthy – that’s what this bipartisan bill will accomplish.”
“Reducing access to lethal means for children at risk of suicide is a proven method to decrease suicide rates. Our bill, the Kid PROOF Act, would help physicians obtain funding to provide parents with safes and lockboxes to properly store medications and other dangerous materials,” said Congressman Tony Gonzales. “The Kid PROOF Act is an important step forward in our commitment as parents to protect our kids. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this life-saving legislation across the finish line.”
“We’re living during a time when a record number of Americans are fighting mental illness and substance use disorder. With nearly 110,000 overdose deaths and over 49,000 suicide deaths last year alone, we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines any longer,” said Congressman David Trone, co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “That’s why I’m proud to co-lead the Kid PROOF Act to ensure more folks have lockboxes or safes to store opioids and other high-risk, lethal substances. Simple measures like this one can be the difference between life or death, and if we can save just one life it’s worth it.”
“Protecting America’s children starts at home,” said Congresswoman Maria Salazar. “I am proud to support this compassionate legislation to give healthcare providers the resources they need to empower parents to protect their children. Our national mental health crisis requires bold and incisive solutions, and this bill is a great step toward our ultimate objective: saving lives.”
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Laurel Stine, J.D., M.A. issued the following statement on the introduction of The Kid Proof Act:
“AFSP is proud to support the Kid PROOF Act, critical legislation to reduce access to lethal means for our youngest and most vulnerable populations. Youth and young adults experience a heightened risk of suicide; according to the CDC, suicide was the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10-19 in 2021. Helping families and communities keep environments safe from lethal means, as an essential and effective component of suicide prevention, is a priority for AFSP, and we stand ready to advocate for the enactment of the Kid PROOF Act.”
Christy Gleason, Vice President of Policy, Advocacy & Campaigns for Save the Children added:
“We’re pleased to support the Kid PROOF Act, a vital piece of legislation that would further the safety of children by giving parents the means and tools to store potentially harmful objects. Far too often, children face harm that is easily preventable, inhibiting them from living their lives to the fullest. Save the Children believes every child has the right to a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm – and the Kid PROOF Act is important to realizing this bright future for kids.”
Matthew Cook, CEO of Children’s Hospital Association said, “The national emergency in youth mental health continues to put too many children and teens at risk of self-injury, suicide and overdose. Children’s hospitals support the bipartisan Kid PROOF Act, which will help to provide parents and guardians with the resources and tools that they need to keep their children safe, especially during a mental health crisis.”
The Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund (SHPAF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization committed to protecting all children from gun violence in schools, homes, and communities. The SHP Action Fund advances a holistic policy platform that promotes gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education. The organization works at the state and federal level to pass nonpartisan legislation through inclusive partnerships, diverse grassroots education, and community mobilization. It is part of Sandy Hook Promise, founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646-761-5579