OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Julie Daniels has filed Senate Bill 379 to require eight hours of mental and behavioral health wellness training as part of peace officer certification. Daniels, R-Bartlesville, also proposes including such training as part of an officer’s annual continuing education requirement.
“Municipal, county and state taxpayers invest significant resources in our first responders, including their training, compensation, health benefits, mental health benefits, and retirement. Yet, as important as maintaining good mental health is in these often-stressful jobs, we don’t require these valued employees to receive any personal mental health wellness training.”
Daniels said it’s also necessary to make sure first responders are aware of and utilize the mental health resources taxpayers make available to them and their families, such as employee assistance programs, mental health counseling, treatment and prescription drug programs.
“These resources are underutilized when they can be key to making sure a first responder is able to enjoy a full career in their chosen profession,” Daniels said.
SB 379 is the result of Daniels’ interim study on first responder mental health wellness, which included participation from the Oklahoma Mutual Assurance Group, Oklahoma Public Employees Health & Welfare Health Plan, Oklahoma Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), Grand Lake Mental Health Center, Healthy Minds Institute, Warrior’s Rest, and the Cities of Oklahoma City, Moore, and Bartlesville.
For more information, contact: Sen. Julie Daniels at 405-521-5634 or email Julie.Daniels@oksenate.gov.