MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama lawmakers have introduced a bill aiming to look out for the first responders that look out for us. House Bill 212 is sponsored by Rep. Matt Simpson and nearly 2 dozen other lawmakers.
The bill would require employers of first responders to cover the costs of treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the goal being to help those facing mental health issues feel they have an option and coverage to seek help.
“We need to tell our law enforcement officers that sometimes it’s ok to say I’m not ok,” said Major Clay Hammac with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Hammac has been working alongside state lawmakers, advocating for this bill to be drafted and introduced.
“People don’t call 911 when they’re having a good day,” he said. “Sometimes what we are exposed to as first responders, as law enforcement officers, as firefighters, on these calls can have a lasting impact on us throughout our career.”
The bill would require coverage of co-payments for qualified treatments of PTSD. The costs would fall on the counties and municipalities that employ the first responders.
“This bill, if it passed in Montgomery, will be an opportunity for us to say to our police officers, to our firefighters, your life matters, your mental wellbeing matters,” said Hammac.
This is the first time a bill like this has been introduced in the Alabama legislature. About a dozen other states have passed similar laws in recent years.
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