Rep. Wendi Thomas’ Healthcare Heroes legislation has passed the House.
During a hearing of the House Mental Health Caucus, Thomas, who co-chairs the caucus, took testimony from healthcare workers and hospital administrators on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the mental health of medical professionals.
“While we need to commit more resources to tackling mental health challenges, we can begin by making sure our healthcare workers, first responders and other frontline workers and their families know there is help available,” Thomas said. “We also hope to decrease stigma against asking for help.”
House Bill 1420 would direct the Department of Human Services to establish a public awareness campaign to provide information regarding the programs and services available for first responders, healthcare workers and other frontline workers suffering from mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those issues include, but are not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and substance use disorder.
“It is our responsibility to help them, to care for those who selflessly care for others,” Thomas said. “That means, as a first step, making sure our healthcare workers, first responders and other frontline workers and their families know there is help available.”
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.