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November 18, 2021

Trone’s Bill to Improve Mental Health Care for First Responders, COPS Counseling Act, is Signed into Law by President Biden 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 18th, 2021

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, Sasha.Galbreath@mail.house.gov 

Trone’s Bill to Improve Mental Health Care for First Responders, COPS Counseling Act, is Signed into Law by President Biden 

Rep. Trone attends the signing ceremony of the COPS Counseling Act with Montgomery County Police Officer T.J. Bomba’s Family 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman David Trone’s Confidentiality Opportunities for Peer Support (COPS) Counseling Act was signed into law by President Biden. The law will improve mental health care for first responders by creating more peer counseling programs and clear standards of confidentiality. 

This is a worthy victory in the fight to end the stigma surrounding mental health. Tragically, Officer Bomba’s story is not unique. Our first responders experience more trauma in one week than the average person does in a lifetime,” said Congressman Trone. “The COPS Counseling Act ensures that every first responder has a safe space to deal with the stress and pressure of their jobs. The benefits of this legislation are two-fold: it will help our frontline officers access resources to improve their mental health, and it will certainly lead to better policing and safer communities. We must do right by our first responders and the legacy of Officer Bomba. This bill will do just that.” 

Research shows that the vast majority of public safety officers view peer support as the most helpful mental health resource. Right now, many people don’t take advantage of this service due to confidentiality concerns. The COPS Counseling Act changes that by improving confidentiality measures in peer support programs. By prioritizing the mental health and wellbeing of our first responders, we are also prioritizing the safety of our whole community. 

The COPS Counseling Act was written after the tragic suicide of Montgomery County police officer Thomas “T.J.” Bomba in 2019. Following his death, Trone held a roundtable on improving mental health care for first responders to discuss how he could provide support, and the COPS Counseling Act was born. Now, just one month after the two-year anniversary of T.J. Bomba’s death, the bill was signed into law. 

You can read more about the legislation here.

You can read the entire bill text here.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress and previously served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

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