SDLRC - 2020 House Concurrent Resolution 6023 - SD Legislature To encourage the Executive Board of the Legislature to create an interim legislative study to address the mental health of first responders.
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION,
encourage the Executive Board of the Legislature to create an interim
legislative study to address the mental health of first responders.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can result in depression,
substance abuse, familial stress, high divorce rates and increased
risk of suicide; and
the suicide rate for firefighters and law enforcement is five times
higher than the civilian rates of suicide, exceeding even line of
duty deaths; and
the South Dakota State Legislature recognizes the importance and
value of our first responder community, including law enforcement
officers, firefighters, EMT/Paramedics, and emergency dispatch
members of our first responder community are often exposed to
multiple traumatic events during the performance of their duties; and
as a result of their exposure to traumatic events, the prevalence of
PTSD in first responders is significant with national estimates
indicating that fifteen to twenty-two percent of firefighters and
thirty-five percent of police officers suffer compared to only 6.8%
of the general population; and
the mental health and well-being of our first responders is of
critical importance, for their own safety and for the safety of the
many first responders, particularly in rural South Dakota, serve the
public as volunteers and may have few, if any resources to provide
for their mental health and well-being; and
access to appropriate mental health resources and services for first
responders is of critical importance to the recruitment and retention
of first responders in South Dakota communities:
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the
Ninety-Fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate
concurring therein, that it is recommended to the Executive Board of
the Legislature for the creation and appointment of an interim
legislative study to address the mental health needs and challenges
facing first responders.
IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that it is recommended that the interim
legislative study suggested under this resolution be under the
supervision of the Executive Board of the Legislative Research
Council and staffed and funded as an interim legislative committee,
and this committee report to the Legislature and the Governor before
the beginning of the Ninety-Sixth Legislative Session, including any
draft legislation or policy recommendations.
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