Columbus –Today, Senators Edna Brown (D-Toledo) and Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) provided testimony on Senate Bill 118 before the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee. The legislation would enable peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder arising from employment without an accompanying physical injury to be eligible for compensation and benefits under Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law.

“I’ve championed this cause for three consecutive General Assemblies,” said Senator Brown. “PTSD has rightfully received attention in the realm of military service. We also need to extend that attention to our first responders, whom we rely on daily to protect and save the lives of others.”

The Center for Disease Control describes post-traumatic stress disorder as an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of a traumatic event for many weeks or months after the event occurred. About half of those suffering from PTSD recover without treatment. However, for those with severe symptoms, the disorder can disrupt their lives to the point where intervention is required.

“I think it’s also important to emphasize that we are not talking about people permanently leaving the workforce after receiving BWC benefits,” said Senator Brown. “Our goal is to give them the resources they need to deal with PTSD quickly and effectively when the symptoms first appear. By providing treatment right away, we can help these brave men and women heal and continue serving their communities.”

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