Joyce, Brown, Turner, and Ross Re-Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Police, First Responders Struggling with PTSD

Jan 24, 2023
Public Safety

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14), introduced the Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act of 2023 with Congresswoman Shontel Brown (OH-11), Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) and Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02). The bipartisan, bicameral legislation aims to combat the rising rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst first responders and to address the long term mental health consequences associated with PTSD. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) have introduced companion legislation and are leading the effort in the United States Senate.  

“When danger strikes, our first responders bravely show up without hesitation to handle any situation they are thrown into,” said Congressman Joyce. “Unfortunately, when our first responders are off the clock, the stress and pressures associated with their jobs often do not leave them. It is time Congress does more to help our dedicated emergency personnel and provide them with the resources they need to cope with their job’s extreme pressures and help the countless emergency personnel suffering from PTSD. I thank my colleagues for joining me on this bicameral, bipartisan legislation and encourage other members to join us in this cause.” 

“It is long past time we addressed the impact protecting our communities often has on our public safety officers,” said Rep. Brown. “Police officers and first responders often suffer invisible wounds as they put their lives on the line and cope with traumatic situations while protecting our communities. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that our public safety officers have access to the mental health services they need to continue serving and protecting our neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio.”

“This bipartisan legislation will make vital mental health resources available to our law enforcement officers. The men and women who wear the uniform risk their personal safety each day to keep our communities safe. It is our responsibility in return to ensure they have the resources needed to support them,” said Congressman Turner

“Our first responders and law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep our communities safe,” said Congresswoman Deborah Ross. “They often face dangerous and stressful situations while on the job, resulting in higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and related mental illnesses than in the general population. This bipartisan bill ensures that our public servants who risk their lives for us have access to the life-saving resources and care they need to stay healthy and continue protecting communities in North Carolina and across the country.”

“On behalf of our over 1,800 members, the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association is honored to lend our support to the ‘Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act of 2023’. Everyday brave men and women from across our nation put themselves on the frontline knowing that their chances of batting PTSD are greater than other professions. We must do whatever we can to treat, and hopefully prevent, PTSD from occurring. We are honored to work with our national leaders to advance this important initiative,” said Chief Colin Altman, Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association President.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder disproportionally affects first responders. According to the Institute of Health, one in three first responders will develop PTSD compared to one in five Americans within the general population. When undiagnosed or left untreated, PTSD leads to higher rates of anxiety and depression, substance and alcohol abuse, and an increase in suicidal ideations. 

To address this growing crisis, this bill directs the Attorney General to develop evidence-based programs that will be made available to public safety officers across our country to treat and address PTSD. In crafting these proposals, the Attorney General must engage and consult with local, state, and federal agencies that employ first responders and non-governmental organizations that advocate on their behalf. Once these proposals are drafted, they will be submitted to Congress for formal consideration. 


Recent Posts

Feb 29, 2024

Congressman Joyce Releases Statement on Continuing Resolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) released the following statement after voting for H.R. 7463, the Extension of Continuing Appropriations and Other Matters Act, 2024. This bill avoids a government shutdown and allows additional time to negotiate final spending bills for Fiscal Year 2024.  “As Chairman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, I have consistently championed […]

Feb 12, 2024

Joyce, Rouzer, Pallone, Sykes Introduce Bill to Preserve America’s Beaches

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH-14), David Rouzer (R-NC-07), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), and Emilia Sykes (D-OH-13) reintroduced the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act. The funding provided through this bill helps state and local governments test, monitor, and identify contamination in recreational waters, such as the Great Lakes.  “Every year, Ohio families and tourists […]

Feb 7, 2024

Congressman Joyce Releases Statement on Vote to Impeach Secretary Mayorkas

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) released the following statement on his vote to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.  “In February 2021, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution and pledged to faithfully discharge the duties of his office. The Secretary of Homeland Security has the […]