Senate Bill 252 has passed through the Senate Finance Committee after testimony from mental health advocates and others who believe post-traumatic stress disorder should be covered by workers compensation.
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The bill would allow police officers and firefighters diagnosed with PTSD to receive treatment under the Bureau of Workers Compensation law. Jay McDonald, President of the Fraternal Order of Police for the State of Ohio told NBC4 that suicide numbers, divorce and alcohol abuse is often higher for those in the front lines and he wants to make sure they are able obtain the help they need.
Ohio is not the first state to request this type of coverage. Police Unions across the United States are pushing for officers to be able to collect workers comp if they suffer from PTSD. Statistical information for PTSD among law enforcement officers is difficult to obtain, some estimate that about 4 percent of officers suffer from PTSD while others say it is about 14 percent.
Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening and or life-changing event can develop PTSD. Among law enforcement officers, witnesses the death of another officer, accidentally killing a bystander or wounding a child can traumatize an individual.
In Ohio, bill 252 will now move to the Rules Committee before getting a full look by the Senate.