Pass the Fighting PTSD Act

Parity, Coverage, & Equitable Access
social determinants of health
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House Judiciary Committee
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Senate Judiciary Committee


Congress should pass the “Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act,” which would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services to report on proposed programs to make evidence-based treatments and preventive care available to police, fire, emergency medical and 911 personnel who experience job-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or acute stress disorder.[1][2]


First responders are often the first on scene in an emergency, placing them at an increased risk for job-related trauma.[2][3] Thirty percent of first responders are likely to develop a mental health condition, such as depression or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),[3] which is higher than the general population. Suicide attempts of fire and EMS professional is almost at seven percent, when the general population is at 0.5 percent.[3] With an increased risk for trauma, first responders need resources and support services.

On August 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Public Safety Officer Support Act (PSOSA) of 2022, which officially acknowledged PTSD as a work-related injury.[4] While this is welcome progress, many employers, including law enforcement agencies and fire departments, are unable to hire full-time mental health professionals to treat first responders experiencing work-related PTSD or acute stress disorder.[1]


1. Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act of 2023. H.R.472 (Joyce-Ross) and S.645 (Grassley-Coons), 118th Congress (2023-2024). Last Accessed August 1, 2023.

2. “Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Chris Coons Bill To Help First Responders Suffering From PTSD Passes Senate.” 2023. Senator Chuck Grassley. Last Updated March 3, 2023.

3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma. Last Updated May 2018.

4.  U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. FAQ: Public Safety Officer Support Act Of 2022 (PSOSA). Last Updated February 20, 2023.