Congress has approved a bipartisan bill that includes pieces of a mental health reform bill co-authored by Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
Murphy said his work on the bill started as a response to the 2012 Newtown school shooting that killed 20 children and six educators.
He says the bill is only a first step.
“There’s no doubt that this bill, historic bill, reforming our nation’s health system, it’s going to matter to a lot to families who’ve been the victims of gun violence. But everybody understands the real change will only come when we change our nation’s gun laws.”
Murphy says he worked with many Sandy Hook families to pass the bill, including Mark Barden, who co-founded the gun violence prevention group Sandy Hook Promise. Barden lost his son Daniel in the shooting.
The bill also includes funds for early intervention for infants and young children who are at risk of developing mental illness.
The bill has been sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.