Re-Introduction of the STAR Act in the 115th Congress
H.Res. 262- Psychosocial Care
Addressing the Psychosocial Needs of Children with Cancer
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced H.Res. 262, Supporting efforts to raise awareness, improve education, and encourage research and treatment of the psychosocial needs of children diagnosed with a childhood cancer.
Childhood cancer is the number one cause of death by disease of children - more than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, and pediatric AIDS combines. This life-changing diagnosis is terrifying, painful and heartbreaking for the innocent young lives affected and their families. A family's whole world changes in an instant and healthcare professionals treating the child must not only make special efforts to help and understand the child's physical care needs but also the psychological and emotional ones as well. Pediatric cancer is a family disease, since every person in the family system is impacted by the diagnosis, its treatment, and its prognosis. Therefore, effectively treating the child also means acknowledging, considering, and addressing the needs of family members throughout the cancer journey.
There is a great need for increased support and awarenessof the psychosocial needs of the children with cancer and their families. As we await more effective medications and therapies to be developed to fight pediatric cancers and reduce long-term effects in our children, there are tangible, practical, and obtainable goals that can be implemented now to help standardize and coordinate the psychosocial care for children and their families.
H.Res. 262 expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that a greater effort needs to be made to raise awareness of this painful issue and encourage efforts to address the psychosocial needs of children and their families battling pediatric cancer.