Written by the Sun Staff for the Sun Community News on September 23, 2020
PLATTSBURGH | A new federal bill known as the Helping Emergency Responders Overcome Act is now aimed at providing wellness program grants for first responders.
U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik co-sponsored the legislation and helped it pass in the House on Sept. 21.
The bill creates a series of programs relating to the mental and behavioral health of public-safety officers and establishes a national database with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for incidents of first-responder suicides.
It also provides grants for wellness programs within fire departments, emergency medical services agencies, and health care providers.
“Our public safety officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel often witness traumatic events while they are on the frontlines protecting and serving our communities,” Stefanik said.
“I proudly cosponsored this bill and voted in favor of programs and resources that will help our first responders through difficult experiences and support their mental health. I will continue to advocate for those who give selflessly to their communities in service, and I applaud the House for coming together to pass this important legislation.”
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