CHICAGO – As part of efforts to prioritize the mental health of law enforcement, a measure sponsored by state Rep. Mary Gill, D-Chicago, and introduced by state Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, will establish a statewide PTSD Mental Health Coordinator position under the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
“The role of law enforcement is an incredibly stressful position, and we want to make sure that officers have access to quality mental health care that helps them with what they encounter in their line of work,” Gill said. “The creation of this statewide position is intended to help develop and implement services that will be of benefit for officers.”
Under Senate Bill 1543, the PTSD Mental Health Coordinator’s duties will include:
- Working with statewide police academies to introduce recruits to mental health matters they may face throughout their career,
- Helping establish mental health training for law enforcement, including resilience training, trauma-based training, interdepartmental training, intradepartmental training and training for law enforcement families,
- Selecting medical professionals to develop a reference list that police departments can use to seek out professionals who offer evidence-based treatment for trauma and understand law enforcement-specific challenges,
- Cooperating with police agencies to develop peer support programs,
- Working with appropriate private companies who train in mental health and wellness,
- Using the state university system to develop training and produce research documentation of training effectiveness, and
- Setting standards for continuing education in mental health to meet the developmental training needs for officers at various stages of their career.
“Developing this position is one part of an ongoing process to provide more resources and services for our officers,” Gill said. “I’m thankful for the advocacy and effort put into this by Sen. Cunningham, and look forward to working together on ways to further support our law enforcement.”
For more information, or assistance with state matters, please contact RepMaryGill@gmail.com or 773-445-8128.