WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 25, 2023 – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to reintroduce legislation to help police, fire, emergency medical and 911 personnel cope with the stresses of responding to crisis situations. The Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act of 2023 would establish mental health programs for America’s first responders who often have long-term consequences from providing life-saving services in moments of crisis. Brown first introduced the Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act in May 2022.
“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each day, facing stressful and often dangerous situations, to protect Ohioans. This legislation will ensure that law enforcement professionals have access to the care they need to deal with the trauma they experience on the job, and keep our communities safer,” Brown said.
Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and 911 dispatchers routinely encounter high-stress situations, putting them at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which increases the risk of suicide. The Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act would require the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish evidence-based treatment programs for first responders across the country. These programs would be similar to services already available to military personnel who develop PTSD or acute stress disorders. The bill requires the DOJ to consult with stakeholders, including public safety officer organizations, to develop the program, which would be available to serve first responders from communities of all sizes.
The bill is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Chris Coons (D-DE), Todd Young (R-IN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Kennedy (R-LA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The bill unanimously passed the Senate last Congress but stalled in the House of Representatives.
Text of the Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act is available HERE.