SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Lilian Jimenez, D-Chicago, is working to better integrate mental health professionals into emergency response situations by passing legislation to ensure these emergency responders have the benefits and protections provided to other first responders.

“The expertise of mental health professionals is critical to 911 operations and saving lives during tense situations, yet these workers have been excluded from benefits their firefighter and paramedic counterparts receive,” Jiménez said. “These professionals are passionate about making a difference in their communities, but they can’t do that if they aren’t able to bounce back from line of duty injuries without going into debt. Our compassionate and trauma-informed approach to reforming our justice system needs to include equity in line of duty compensation.”

Mental health workers who respond to emergencies alongside firefighters, paramedics and other public safety workers face many of the same risks in the line of duty, but are not currently eligible for comparable disability, mental health, and survivor’s benefits. Jiménez’s House Bill 5083 ensures mental health responders have access to employee disability, line of duty compensation and public safety benefits are made available to them.

House Bill 5083 passed out of the House on Tuesday, April 16.

Rep. Lilian JimenezRep. Rep. Lilian Jimenez

4th District

Springfield Office:
284-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0150

District Office: