May 20, 2024

Congresswoman Bush Reintroduces Helping Families Heal Act


Bush collaborated with Michael Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden, on first-of-its-kind legislation providing mental health services to people impacted by police violence


Washington, D.C. (May 20, 2024) — Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) announced the reintroduction of the Helping Families Heal Act, first-of-its-kind legislation to expand mental health services for communities harmed by police violence. The bill establishes grant programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand communities’ ability to fund a wide range of mental health programs to support victims, families, and students impacted by police violence. 

Congresswoman Bush drafted this legislation in collaboration with Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, who was killed by a now-terminated white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. Michael Brown’s death sparked a global movement to save Black lives and push for racial justice. Before being elected to Congress, and following Michael Brown’s killing, Congresswoman Bush spent more than 400 days protesting on the Ferguson Frontlines as a nurse and clergy member.

“Police violence steals precious lives like Mike Brown and so many others. The trauma and grief that it leaves in its wake contributes to mental health crises and disproportionately harms surviving family members, Black and brown communities, and young people,” said Congresswoman Bush. “I am proud to have worked together with Mike’s mother on this legislation, which is designed to save lives by supporting families in the aftermath of devastating police violence. Mike Brown should still be alive, and today, on his 28th birthday, we are honoring him by reintroducing this vitally needed legislation. The Helping Families Heal Act will provide more resources to address the devastating mental health consequences of police violence in our communities. As we continue to work to end police brutality, mass incarceration, and cycles of trauma, we must also invest in the health, safety, and well-being of our communities. Together, we can help our families heal.” 

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE. A copy of the summary materials can be found HERE.

Additional cosponsors of this legislation include Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-12).

Endorsing organizations of this legislation include American Friends Service Committee, Arkansas Justice Reform Coalition, Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Center for Constitutional Rights, Civil Rights Corps, Human Impact Partners, Human Rights Watch, Keshet, March For Our Lives, Metro East Organizing Coalition, Michael OD Brown We Love Our Sons and Daughters Foundation, MomsRising, Movement for Black Lives, Movement for Family Power, National Disability Rights Network, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Nonviolent Peace Force, Positive Women's Network-USA, Pretrial Justice Institute, Public Justice Center, The Futures Institute, United Church of Christ, WAVE Educational Fund, and We Are Revolutionary.