April 28, 2017

Donnelly, Young Welcome Introduction of Bipartisan House Companion to Support Law Enforcement Mental Health

Legislation introduced by Brooks and Demings in U.S. House matches the Donnelly-Young effort

Washington, D.C. – Indiana’s U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young welcomed news today that a companion version of their bipartisan Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Donnelly-Young bill was introduced earlier this month in the U.S. Senate. U.S. Congresswomen Susan Brooks (IN-05) and Val Demings (FL-10), who served as Orlando’s first female Chief of Police, introduced the matching legislation in the House.

Donnelly and Young said, “We welcome this bipartisan companion bill in the House of Representatives, another step towards ensuring that law enforcement officers have access to mental health services when they need them. Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day protecting our communities, and this bill would let them know that we have their back. We urge leaders in the House and Senate to quickly bring this bipartisan legislation to the floor, so we can pass this commonsense bill.”

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act would help law enforcement agencies establish or enhance mental health services for their officers. The legislation would make grants available to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs, 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 Department of Justice to work with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to examine how Department of Defense and VA mental health practices and services 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.