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#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – #Police, Lawmakers Urge Passage of Bill to Support #MentalHealth of #Officers

Politicians and #publicsafety officials came together Friday to urge more federal funding for #mentalhealth and #suicideprevention programs for #policeofficers.

#Suicide was the leading cause of death among law enforcement in 2018. The nonprofit Blue H.E.L.P. said there were 167 confirmed officer #suicides nationwide.

At a news conference at the Providence Public Safety Complex, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said he is advocating for #mentalhealth care services to protect those who protect us.

The Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis, or STOIC, Act would allocate $7.5 million over five years for supporting and treating officers in crisis. The grants’ recipients would use funds to establish #suicideprevention programs and #mentalhealthservices for law enforcement #officers.

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#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

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“We go out there and were asked to do the most dangerous and complicated job in this country. This phenomenon, it just builds up over time. And #policeofficers — they take this home to their families. It affects them. It affects their families. It affects their job performance,” said Col. Hugh Clements, chief of Providence #police.

The STOIC bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week and is awaiting a vote in the House. The Senate already passed it.

Dignitaries at the news conference agreed it was another step toward fighting the #stigma surrounding #mentalhealth.

#Police, lawmakers urge passage of the bill to support #mentalhealth of officers
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