Trump signs mental health bill, co-authored by Sens. Young, Donnelly

U.S. Sens. Todd Young and Joe Donnelly of Indiana shake hands after learning that that the Government Publishing Office has changed the designation of Indiana natives to “Hoosiers” in the new federal government style guide. (YouTube)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WANE) – A bill to help law enforcement deal with mental health problems has been signed by President Donald Trump.

The proposal was authored by Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) and Sen. Todd Young (R-Indiana).

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act passed the Senate Tuesday. The House passed the measure in November.

The law will make grants available to initiate peer mentoring pilot programs. It will direct the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to develop resources for mental health providers based on the specific mental health challenges faced by law enforcement, and support law enforcement officers by studying the effectiveness of crisis hotlines and annual mental health checks.

“I think it can help our police officers. the men and women in blue, brown or green when they have a mental health challenges that there will be somebody to talk too,” said Sen. Donnelly. “This legislation will make sure that our officers can be able to be part of a peer program basically where other Fort Wayne officers can help them and other Allen county officers can help them.”

It would also direct the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Veterans Affairs to confer about existing DoD and VA mental health practices and services that could be adopted by law enforcement agencies.

The legislation had the support of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Officers, the Major County Sheriffs of Americ,  the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National District Attorneys Association, and the Sergeants Benevolent Association.