Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills on Tuesday that aim to improve the reporting and treatment of mental health for firefighters and peace officers. Citing the high-stress and traumatic nature of first responder jobs, Newsom said California needs to ensure they receive adequate care.
The bills focus on improving resources and protections for firefighters who want to report mental health issues by creating a peer support program as well as including post-traumatic stress as an injury when dealing with workers’ compensation.
“They can experience high-stress situations and traumatic incidents that can push them to the limit both physically and mentally, and we need to recognize and take those challenges head on,” Governor Newsom said.
Assembly Bill 1116 establishes statewide standards for local and regional peer support and crisis referral programs for firefighters.