The Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) has announced the award of $4.5 million in grants for the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program.

According to an announcement issued by the agency, the funds will be used to improve the delivery of—and access to—mental health and wellness services for law enforcement officers.

The program will support "technical assistance, demonstration projects, implementation of promising practices related to peer mentoring mental health and wellness, and suicide prevention programs," the statement said.

"As a law enforcement professional with over 50 years of experience, I know firsthand the pressures that accompany this most noble profession," said COPS Office Director Phil Keith in making the announcement.

"This Department of Justice is committed to protecting the health and wellness of a police department's most valuable asset–the men and women that leave their homes every day with a mission to protect and serve, Keith said. "The grants announced today will provide departments with key mental health and wellness services."

Good mental and psychological health is just as essential as good physical health for law enforcement officers to be effective in keeping our communities safe from crime and violence. As part of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, Congress authorized the COPS Office to establish peer mentoring mental health and wellness pilot programs within state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies. The 41 awards announced today meet the goals of the 2017 Act and support the Department of Justice and the Administration’s commitment to law enforcement. The full list of awards is available here:

In addition to the grants announced today, the COPS Office recently published two reports regarding officer mental health and wellness. Those reports are available here:

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Report to Congress

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Programs: Eleven Case Studies