The bi-partisan bill, Supporting and Treating Officers In Crisis (STOIC) Act of 2019, was signed in into law on July 25, 2019. The bill will provide $7.5 M in grants annually to “…support police officer family services, stress reduction, and suicide prevention.”
“Our law enforcement officers do extraordinarily stressful work – and too often, that stress leads to serious health consequences, including a significantly elevated risk of suicide,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean , the bill’s co-author. “It’s time to embrace our law enforcement community by offering additional resources for mental health care and family support. Our officers deserve it.”
“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities,” said Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, co-author of the bill. “These men and women routinely endure extremely stressful situations, yet the federal government does little to address the consequences of this taxing work. This stress can cause high blood pressure and post-traumatic stress disorder and has resulted in a suicide rate that is 50 percent higher than the national average. I am proud to work with Congresswoman Dean to fix this wrong and support police officers and their families.”
The STOIC Act permits family-services grant funding to be used to establish suicide prevention programs – and supports officers suffering from stress and other mental health issues. Funding would extend from Fiscal Year 2020 to Fiscal Year 2024 at a level of $7.5 million annually. Details on how law enforcement agencies can apply for the grants have not been released yet.