A United States Senator from Missouri has introduced legislation that would allocate $7.5 million a year for the next five years to suicide-prevention programs that would fund mental-health screenings and training to identify those officers who may be more at risk for suicide.
According to KZRG Radio, Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill last week dubbed the "Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act" aimed at preventing police officer suicides.
The bill is gaining traction from both sides of the aisle, including stated support from Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.
Editor's Note: If you or someone you know has ideation of suicide or is approaching crisis, please know that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. Safe Call Now (1-206-459-3020) offers those services specifically for first responders.
On a website maintained by BlueH.E.L.P.—an organization that tracks officer suicides while simultaneously seeking to prevent such tragedies from occurring—a first responder need only enter a few data points—such as their location and what kind of assistance is needed—and the individual will be provided with a list of options for help from a searchable database dedicated to helping first responders find emotional, financial, spiritual, and other forms of assistance.