Mental Health Support Bill for First Responders to Become Law - NBC10 Boston

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Mental Health Support Bill for First Responders to Become Law

The bill will allow first responders to now seek peer support with added confidentiality requirements

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Survey: Firefighters Struggling With Mental Health and PTSD

    In Massachusetts, there is no law protecting first responders from asking for counseling and no law promising confidentiality. As a result, firefighters often don’t ask for help.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A bill to help first responders receive mental health support in Massachusetts was passed in the House on Thursday.

    • The bill will allow first responders to now seek peer support with added confidentiality requirements.

    • The bill now goes to the governor to be signed into law.

    Less than two weeks after the Worcester Fire Department dealt with the death of firefighter Christopher Roy, a bill to help first responders receive mental health support in Massachusetts was passed in the House on Thursday.

    The bill will allow first responders to now seek peer support with added confidentiality requirements.

    This year, the NBC10 Boston Investigators documented how many first responders do not seek help due to the stigma and fear for their job safety.

    State Sen. Mike Moore (D-Worcester) pointed to the significance of the bill for grieving first responders.

    "Six firefighters were trapped on the second floor of the building. Five of them survived. Firefighter Roy's memory will remain, but we cannot forget those who served beside him," Moore said.

    The legislature saw such importance in the bill they put it on emergency status to go into effect Jan. 1.

    The bill now goes to the governor to be signed into law.


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