Public employees in Connecticut should have their mental-health treatments paid under state Workers' Compensation law, a legislative panel decided Tuesday.

In legislation approved 18-5 that next heads to the House floor and other committees, teachers, emergency medical personnel, state and local police, and firefighters would be able to file claims for mental-health counseling following post-traumatic stress diagnoses by board-certified psychiatrists or psychologists, the Connecticut Post reports

The PTSD would have to be linked directly to witnessing a traumatic event or the immediate aftermath of such an incident. Similar laws are in effect in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.

The bill was partially inspired by the plight of Newtown Police Officer Thomas Bean, who was nearly fired after using up his accumulated Workers' Compensation and sick time while battling PTSD after the Sandy Hook tragedy.

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