CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Emergency workers in West Virginia are going to get some much-needed help when it comes to mental health.
In a unanimous vote, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted to allow workers compensation coverage for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in first responders. Police, fire and EMS workers often encounter traumatic situations, and that can lead to PTSD. The bill would allow them to seek mental health counseling and treatment with the state paying for it.
“We’re looking at first responders who are seeing things we can’t even imagine today. And the seriousness of it needs to be addressed,” said Del. David Kelly, (R-Tyler).
The bill moves on to the State Senate for debate and votes. A separate bill would reclassify 911 Dispatchers as first responders, and would allow them to get PTSD treatment as well.