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Thomas’ Healthcare Heroes bill passes committee

House Bill 1420 would help frontline workers suffering from pandemic-related mental health issues

Rep. Wendi Thomas’ Healthcare Heroes legislation has unanimously passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill passed the House in June.

“The pandemic demonstrated what we’ve known for so long,” said Thomas, R-Bucks. “We must commit more resources to tackling the mental health challenges of our healthcare workers, first responders and other frontline workers. And we must help their families know there is help available.”

Last year, 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.

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.

“We owe an enormous debt to these frontline workers and their families,” said Thomas. “That first step is making sure our healthcare workers and first responders know there is help available.”

The bill now moves to the whole Senate for consideration.

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