New Minnesota law addresses PTSD in public safety employees

‘A step in the right direction.’

Posted: Jan 1, 2019 1:42 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A number of Minnesota laws go into effect on the first day of 2019. One of them aims to help first responders diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

The new late states that if a public safety employee like a firefighter, corrections officer, or paramedic is diagnosed with PTSD, it is going to be presumed to be from the job.

Under the new law, the person will receive workers compensation if diagnosed.

Rochester Fire Department’s Captain Caleb Feine calls the effort a step in the right direction.

“It's extremely important to keep up with the times and we're giving support to people who need it now in the places we need it,” he said.

And new studies show it is a growing need.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA:

Over 50% of firefighter deaths are from stress or exhaustion, not fires
About 30% of firefighters report having depression or PTSD, above the general population’s 20%
About 47% of police officers reported having depression or anxiety in the post 9/11 era.

“We see some things sometime, they're not easy to handle. And everybody handles those things differently so, you know, it's important that we take care of our own in that aspect,” Capt. Feine said.

To learn more about this law and other state laws going into effort on January 1, 2019, click here.

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