Sounding the alarm: Virginia governor signs bill focused on first responder mental health

  • Source: WCYB-TV NBC/CW 5 Bristol
  • Published: 05/19/2023 12:00 AM

VIDEO: Sounding the alarm -- during this past Virginia legislative session, first responder mental health was a top priority for Del. Israel O'Quinn. That's why he proposed and helped get a measure across the finish line -- focused on improvements and resources for those personnel. Del. O'Quinn says this legislation comes after professional firefighters and law enforcement officers say there are two big issues in the public safety sector. As a result, House Bill 1775 now adds depressive and anxiety disorder to the current worker's compensation statute. "If a firefighter or police officer believes that they have post traumatic stress disorder or anxiety disorder, they can be diagnosed by their doctor, and then under the worker's compensation statute, they now have a presumption, meaning that it's much easier to prove that they have this and they can receive the treatment that they need," said O'Quinn.


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