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Congresswoman Shontel Brown and U.S. Reps Joyce, Ross and Turner introduce House bill to address PTSD in first responders....By and, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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Pictured from left are U.S. Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH), Shontel M. Brown (D-OH), a Warrensville Hts Democrat whose largely Black 11th congressional district includes Cleveland and several of its eastern suburbs of Cuyahoga County, Mike Turner (R-OH) and Deborah Ross (D-NC)

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S.  Rep. Shontel M. Brown (D-OH), a Warrensville Hts Democrat whose largely Black 11th congressional district includes Cleveland and several of its eastern suburbs of Cuyahoga County, last week joined Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Mike Turner (R-OH) and Deborah Ross (D-NC) in introducing the Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act of 2022, a first responders' bill pending in Congress.

Read the full text of the bill here

“While serving on the frontlines protecting our communities, our police officers and first responders often face traumatic situations that can leave them with invisible wounds,” said Rep. Brown.

The congresswoman said that a growing number of first responders in the U.S., from police and firefighters to emergency medical technicians, paramedics and other public safety personnel, suffer from PTSD, which can take a toll on their well-being .

The federal lawmaker said that the bipartisan congressional legislation merits congressional approval and that it “would bring us one step closer to ensuring our public safety officers can access mental health resources for PTSD.”

If it is ultimately approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden, the Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act would require that the U.S. attorney general establish at least one evidence-based treatment and preventive care program within the Department of Justice to help public safety officers with job-related PTSD.  And the justice department would also be required to consult with relevant stakeholders in crafting the initiative, including federal, state, tribal, territorial and local agencies that employ public safety officers, as well as some non-governmental organizations and law enforcement advocacy groups..

“This bipartisan legislation lays the groundwork for much-needed action aimed at offering increased support to law enforcement officers and first responders struggling with PTSD,” Rep Brown added.

Regarding the three other memebrs of Congress who signed onto the bill with Brown, Reps Joyce and Turner are Republicans and Congresswoman Ross is a Democrat like Brown, Brown also one of two Blacks in Congress from Ohio, alongside Rep Joyce Beatty, a Columbus Democrat who is also president of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Introduced during PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] Awareness month, the legislative measure would also provide for mental health programs for first responders diagnoxed with PTSD..

U. S.Sen Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate, an indication that Congress is in step with the legislation across partisan lines as gun violence increases nationwide and excessive force cases that are predominant to urban Black communities continue to make headline news.

PTSD is defined in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance as a mental health condition that can develop following ‘a stressful event or situation of an exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature, which is likely to cause pervasive distress in almost anyone’

Research by the NICE shows that police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and 911 dispatchers routinely encounter high-stress situations, making them more likely to suffer from PTSD and less likely to receive help for their illness than the average American.

“Police officers and other public safety personnel are the first line of defense in our communities when disaster strikes,” said Congressman Joyce, also a fomer prosecutor from Geaga County, Ohio. “Unfortunately, the danger and stress they face on the job doesn’t just disappear when they’re off the clock

A former Dayton Ohio mayor, Congressman Turner said that Congress has a duty to protect the health and welfare of the nation's first responders.

“Each day our first responders face immense stress and heavy responsibilities as they keep our communities safe. When they need our help, it is our duty to respond." he said. "The Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Act will provide our first responders with the mental health support they rightly deserve when they need it. As mayor and now in Congress, I have worked alongside our first responders to make sure they have the professional and personal resources needed to safely do their jobs. This bipartisan legislation continues that effort.”

Congressman Ross agreed.

“Our first responders and law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect our communities and this service can take a tremendous toll,” said Rep Ross, who represents North Carolina's second congressional district.

Ross went on to say that "this bipartisan bill will ensure that public servants who are delivering life-saving aid have access to the resources and care they need to stay healthy and continue protecting communities in North Carolina and across the country.” and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 July 2022 21:46


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The annual11th Congressional District Caucus Parade is Monday, September 2

11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress. waives to the crowd last year at the annual 11th Congressional District Caucus Parade.  This year's parade kicks off on Monday, September 2 on Cleveland's east side at 10:00 am from E. 149th Street and Kinsman Road and ends at Luke Easter Park where the picnic will begin. The event will be replete with political speeches and entertainment from various sources, including local musicians and bands. The well-attended caucus parade was initiated by Democrat Louis Stokes, the retired congressman before Fudge, and the tradition was furthered by the late Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Fudges' predecessor. Stokes was the first Black congressperson from Ohio and Tubbs Jones was the first Black congresswoman from Ohio