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Friday, June 14, 2024

House Committee Advances Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Expand Mental Health Support for DHS Law Enforcement

Legislation would establish a Law Enforcement Mental Health and Resiliency Program within DHS.

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation to increase mental health resources for law enforcement personnel at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was advanced by the House Homeland Security Committee today.

The DHS Suicide Prevention and Resiliency for Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 2577) would create the DHS Law Enforcement Mental Health and Resiliency Program to oversee and streamline the delivery of enhanced mental health and wellness services for DHS law enforcement officers and agents.

The bill is sponsored by Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.).

“I look forward to the House considering this bipartisan legislation aimed at ensuring that life-saving resources are available to the men and women protecting the homeland in the very near future,” Thompson said.

This legislation would provide DHS with a comprehensive and targeted approach to support the mental health and wellness of law enforcement personnel at this critical Department. Specifically, it will establish a Law Enforcement Mental Health and Resiliency Program within DHS. The program will provide additional oversight, guidance, and resources to DHS components that perform law enforcement duties. The bill would also require DHS components to prioritize mental health, well-being, resilience, and suicide prevention programs and would require components assign a representative to the program to ensure the sharing of best practices and resources across the department. The bill would also require the review and revision of current policies to improve mental health and wellness programs and training and reduce the stigma of seeking mental health assistance.

This legislation has been endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union, National Border Patrol Council, Blue H.E.L.P., Concerns of Police Survivors, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the upper chamber by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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