SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Legislation passed by state Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, which requires law enforcement officers to receive training to help them deal with job-related stresses, was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“Every single day, our first responders serve our communities while dealing with emotional traumas and work pressures that most of us cannot begin to understand,” said Costa Howard. “I worked to pass this legislation to expand the mental health and wellness resources available to our law enforcement officers, including suicide prevention services, to give them the tools they need to deal with their unique stresses, whether they’re on the job or off-duty.”
Costa Howard’s House Bill 2767 will require law enforcement officers to undergo training in recognizing signs and symptoms of workplace-related cumulative stress, as well as giving them access to peer support and wellness resources. Costa Howard’s new law, which was backed by the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will require officers to undergo training every three years.
“In recent years, we have seen a tragic increase in the numbers of law enforcement officers who have taken their own lives,” continued Costa Howard. “Expanding education and access to resources is the first step toward helping officers admit they need help when they’re under intense emotional stress. I applaud the governor for signing HB 2767. With this law on the books, law enforcement officers in Illinois will have access to the resources they need to manage their own stress, give help to their fellow officers, and identify when it’s time to seek professional help in dealing with emotional issues.”
For more information, please contact Rep. Costa Howard’s constituent service office at RepTCH48@gmail.com.