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Advocates push to help officers, families with mental health struggles

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Posted at 12:24 PM, Feb 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-20 13:24:54-05

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Republican senator has joined a push to help families of public safety officers who have suffered mental health challenges or died by suicide.

Sen. Susan Collins is part of a bipartisan group of senators that is working to help families receive public safety officers’ benefits. Those benefits are currently limited to physical injuries.

The program could be altered to provide financial support to families of firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians who die in the line of duty or are disabled, Collins said.

She said the bill she is supporting would “provide support for officers suffering from work-related PTSD, as well as provide grieving families with the resources and support they need.”

The bill would designate work-related post-traumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder as a line-of-duty injury.

It would also allow families of officers who die by trauma-linked suicide to apply for death benefits, Collins said.