1st Responders Mental Health Legislation

1st Responders Mental Health Legislation

House Bills 10-63 and 10-64 which aim to close the gap in mental health care coverage for our state’s first responders have been introduced into this session of the South Dakota Legislature.

One of the bills’ sponsors, District 18 Representative Ryan Cwach says emergency personnel are often in situations that can lead to mental health issues such as PTSD.

Cwach says testimony during last summer’s legislative task force on the issue was often very emotional.

Cwach says people who wish to support or testify on the legislation should contact the committees the bills have been assigned to.

Cwach says approximately twenty percent of firefighters and thirty-five percent of police officers will suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder during their careers with more firefighters and law enforcement officers lost to suicide than to deaths in the line of duty.