Kiggans Announces Application Period for Law Enforcement Mental Health Grants

Mar 27, 2024
Press

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced the opportunity for law enforcement agencies across Virginia’s Second Congressional District to apply for funding through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Program. Applications are due by April 30, 2024, at 4:59 PM ET.

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness 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 wellness programs. All local and state law enforcement agencies that have primary law enforcement authority are eligible to apply. 

“Law enforcement officers play a vital role in our communities. They put their lives on the line every single day and I believe we have the responsibility to support them,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “That support includes access to the mental healthcare they need to cope with the trauma and stress they face on the job. I urge police departments across southeast Virginia to apply for these resources so that we can effectively acknowledge, address, and manage the mental health challenges facing the officers whose service and sacrifice keep our families safe.” 

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 to learn more about the 2024 Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Program. Additionally, interested organizations may contact Congresswoman Kiggans’ Virginia Beach office at (757) 364-7650 as Congressional offices are able to provide letters of support for federal grant applications.

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