First Responders will now have wider access to PTSD coverage. On Tuesday Governor Tony Evers signed the “Public Safety PTSD Act,” which was authored by State Senator Andre Jacque. The senator said the need for this legislation has its roots back to 1974. This is the year the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a “situation of greater dimensions” than typically experienced by others in the same industry was standard for receiving coverage. Jacque stated that this penalizes those who choose an occupation with more dangers like policing or firefighting. He also finds it problematic a requirement for coverage was suffering a physical injury.
Jacque thinks this act will end the difficult choice workers are sometimes faced with between their occupation and treatment.
Jacque is proud that this measure had bipartisan support, and thinks it will save lives. While post-traumatic stress can lead to suicides, Jacque believes prioritizing mental health will be crucial for the recruitment and retention of first responders.