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Donnelly-Young Bill Supporting Law Enforcement Mental Health Passes Senate
Updated May 18, 2017 6:18 AM
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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Todd Young (R-IN) spoke on the Senate floor today honoring National Police Week and calling for enactment of the bipartisan Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act.

The Donnelly-Young legislation, which would help law enforcement agencies establish or enhance mental health services for their officers, passed the Senate Tuesday. It must be passed by the House of Representatives before it can go to the President's desk to be signed into law.

Donnelly said, "Passage of this bipartisan legislation is a major step toward supporting the mental health of our law enforcement officers, who put their lives on the line every day to protect communities and families in Indiana and across the country. I am hopeful that the House of Representatives will quickly consider and pass this legislation, so that it becomes law and we can better support the mental health and wellness needs of our law enforcement officers."

Young said, "During National Police Week we honor the men and women in blue who literally answer the call to serve and protect our communities every day. Passage of this bill will help ensure that they have access to the services they need to remain ready to serve. I am grateful for the bipartisan support of my colleagues in the Senate, I know it has also garnered strong support in the House of Representatives and I hope they will hold a vote on it soon as well."

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act would make grants available to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs, direct the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to develop resources for mental health providers based on the specific mental health challenges faced by law enforcement, and support law enforcement officers by studying the effectiveness of crisis hotlines and annual mental health checks.

It would also direct the Departments of Defense (DoD), Justice, and Veterans Affairs (VA) to confer about existing DoD and VA mental health practices and services that could be adopted by law enforcement agencies.

The legislation has the support of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the National Association of Police Officers (NAPO), the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), and the Sergeants Benevolent Association.

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