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November 22, 2021

New law creates more access for officers seeking mental health care

Credit: WTOP News, Melissa Howell

A new law drafted by a Maryland congressman focuses on improving access to mental health services and privacy for the nation’s first responders who seek help.

The federal Confidentiality Opportunities for Peer Support Counseling Act, or the COPS Counseling Act, was signed into law by President Joe Biden last week.

It improves privacy standards for first responders and expands their overall access to mental health care.

Democrat David Trone, who represents Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, created the legislation after Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas Bomba died by suicide in 2019.

Trone highlighted the need to provide a safe space for those on the front lines, and his hope is that the act will also lead to better policing and safer communities.

In a statement, Trone called it “a victory in the fight to end the stigma surrounding mental health.”