The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently unanimously passed legislation co-authored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) to establish a Mental Wellness and Stress Management program for emergency responders.
“I want to ensure our first responders have the necessary resources to seek support if they are or have been suffering from post-traumatic stress injuries,” Farry said. “While dedicating their lives to protecting others, our heroes have witnessed some of the most horrifying scenes that are engraved in their memories forever. These memories often become a heavy weight on their shoulders, and it is our duty as legislators to return the favor of protecting those who keep us safe.”
House Bill 1459 would establish a Mental Wellness and Stress Management program with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to protect emergency responders living with post-traumatic stress and/or brain injuries and provide them with tools on how to deal with post-traumatic stress injuries. The tools include peer support programs, toll-free helpline, Critical Incident Stress Management Programs and trauma awareness training. Farry worked to develop this legislation after several first responder suicides in Bucks County.
“The tools provided by the program will give first responders suffering from these post-traumatic stress injuries more access to support and information on their injuries,” said Farry.
House Bill 1459 now awaits consideration in the state Senate.