house resolution no.46

Reps. Mueller, Marino, Berman, Wentworth, Tate, Wakeman, Frederick, Green, Griffin, Lightner, Vaupel, Crawford, Warren, Paquette, Lower, Wendzel, VanWoerkom, Cherry, Hauck, Yaroch, Huizenga, LaFave, Chirkun, Sheppard, Webber, Calley, Kennedy, Sneller, Hornberger, Rabhi, Filler, Neeley, Camilleri, Hoadley, Garrett, Hammoud, Tyrone Carter, Gay-Dagnogo, Slagh, Robinson, Bollin, Love, Clemente, Haadsma, Jones, Kuppa, Lasinski, Liberati, Manoogian, Sabo, Shannon, Sowerby, Stone, Whitsett, and Wittenberg offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare March 19, 2019, as Law Enforcement Mental Health Awareness Day in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, The brave law enforcement personnel of the state of Michigan, who proudly serve and protect our communities, risk their lives to ensure the safety of our citizens and deserve the investment of every possible resource to ensure their lasting physical, mental, and emotional well-being; and

Whereas, Law enforcement officers witness a substantially higher number of traumatic incidents compared to other professions, elevating the risk of developing mental illnesses. They face a higher risk to develop stress-related mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Experts estimate that up to 35% of law enforcement officers experience some form of PTSD. PTSD significantly increases the risk of depression, suicide, and substance abuse related disorders and deaths. The number of law enforcement officers who died by suicide outnumbered those who died in the line of duty for three consecutive years in 2016, 2017, and 2018; and

Whereas, The increased levels of stress and trauma law enforcement officers experience create negative effects to their physical health and family life. Several barriers that prevent law enforcement officers from seeking necessary mental health services still remain. It is estimated that only 3-5% of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States have suicide prevention training programs. The fear of job-loss in a profession that prioritizes toughness and bravery contributes to the shame and stigma that remains as one of the strongest barriers standing between law enforcement officers and mental health services; and

Whereas, The establishment of a Michigan Law Enforcement Mental Health Awareness Day will raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, anxiety, depression, and suicide; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare March 19, 2019, as Law Enforcement Mental Health Awareness Day in the state of Michigan. We urge the law enforcement agencies across the state of Michigan to continue working to educate officers, medical professionals, the families of law enforcement officers, and the public about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of mental illnesses; and be it further

Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the Governor of Michigan.