Kiggans Announces Application Period for Law Enforcement Mental Health Grants

Mar 03, 2023
Press
Public Safety

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced the opportunity for officials across Virginia’s Second Congressional District to apply for funding through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act program. The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act program is a competitive grant program that provides funding to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement through the implementation of peer support, training, family resources, suicide prevention, and other promising practices for wellness programs. The application period will remain open until April 21, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. ET.

“Our police officers are the first line of defense when danger and tragedy strike in our communities,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “It’s critical that they have access to the mental health care they need to cope with trauma they face while serving our communities because the reality is that the danger and stress they face on the job doesn’t just disappear when they’re off the clock. I urge police departments across VA-02 to apply so they can have the resources they need to support the mental health of their officers.”

Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and 911 dispatchers routinely encounter high-stress situations, making them more likely to suffer from PTSD and less likely to receive help for their illness than the average American. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 15% of public safety officers currently working suffer from PTSD, with documented rates higher among female officers. Despite these statistics, only 3-5% of the 18,000 police departments across the country have suicide prevention training programsA 2019 Office of Community Oriented Policing Services report found that many law enforcement agencies do not have the capacity, funding, or local access to mental health professionals necessary to support their officers.

Click here for more information on the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act program. Additionally, interested organizations may contact Congresswoman Kiggans’ Virginia Beach office at (757) 364-7631 as Congressional offices are able to provide letters of support for federal grant applications.

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