Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3911
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Full Text of HB3911  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The First Responders Suicide Prevention Act is
5amended by adding Section 40 as follows:
6    (5 ILCS 840/40 new)
7    Sec. 40. Task Force recommendations.
8    (a) Task Force members shall recommend that agencies and
9organizations guarantee access to mental health and wellness
10services, including, but not limited to, peer support programs
11and providing ongoing education related to the ever-evolving
12concept of mental health wellness. These recommendations could
13be accomplished by:
14        (1) Revising agencies' and organizations' employee
15    assistance programs (EAPs).
16        (2) Urging health care providers to replace outdated
17    healthcare plans and include more progressive options
18    catering to the needs and disproportionate risks
19    shouldered by our first responders.
20        (3) Allocating funding or resources for public service
21    announcements (PSA) and messaging campaigns aimed at
22    raising awareness of available assistance options.
23        (4) Encouraging agencies and organizations to attach



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1    lists of all available resources to training manuals and
2    continuing education requirements.
3    (b) Task Force members shall recommend agencies and
4organizations sponsor or facilitate first responders with
5specialized training in the areas of psychological fitness,
6depressive disorders, early detection, and mitigation best
7practices. Such trainings could be accomplished by:
8        (1) Assigning, appointing, or designating one member
9    of an agency or organization to attend specialized
10    training(s) sponsored by an accredited agency,
11    association, or organization recognized in their fields of
12    study.
13        (2) Seeking sponsorships or conducting fund-raisers,
14    to host annual or semiannual on-site visits from qualified
15    clinicians or physicians to provide early detection
16    training techniques, or to provide regular access to
17    mental health professionals.
18        (3) Requiring a minimum number of hours of disorders
19    and wellness training be incorporated into reoccurring,
20    annual or biannual training standards, examinations, and
21    curriculums, taking into close consideration respective
22    agency or organization size, frequency and number of all
23    current federal and state mandatory examinations and
24    trainings expected respectively.
25        (4) Not underestimating the crucial importance of a
26    balanced diet, sleep, mindfulness-based stress reduction



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1    techniques, moderate and vigorous intensity activities,
2    and recreational hobbies, which have been scientifically
3    proven to play a major role in brain health and mental
4    wellness.
5    (c) Task Force members shall recommend that administrators
6and leadership personnel solicit training services from
7evidence-based, data driven organizations. Organizations with
8personnel trained on the analytical review and interpretation
9of specific fields related to the nature of first responders'
10exploits, such as PTSD, substance abuse, chronic state of
11duress. Task Force members shall further recommend funding for
12expansion and messaging campaigns of preliminary
13self-diagnosing technologies like the one described above.
14These objectives could be met by:
15        (1) Contacting an accredited agency, association, or
16    organization recognized in the field or fields of specific
17    study. Unbeknownst to the majority, many of the agencies
18    and organizations listed above receive grants and
19    allocations to assist communities with the very issues
20    being discussed in this Section.
21        (2) Normalizing help-seeking behaviors for both first
22    responders and their families through regular messaging
23    and peer support outreach, beginning with academy
24    curricula and continuing education throughout individuals'
25    careers.
26        (3) Funding and implementing PSA campaigns that



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1    provide clear and concise calls to action about mental
2    health and wellness, resiliency, help-seeking, treatment
3    and recovery.
4        (4) Promoting and raising awareness of non-for-profit
5    organizations currently available to assist individuals in
6    search of care and treatment. Organizations have intuitive
7    user-friendly sites, most of which have mobile
8    applications, so first responders can access at a moment's
9    notice. However, because of limited funds, these
10    organizations have a challenging time of getting the word
11    out there about their existence.
12        (5) Expanding Family and Medical Leave Act protections
13    for individuals voluntarily seeking preventative
14    treatment.
15        (6) Promoting and ensuring complete patient
16    confidentiality protections.
17    (d) Task Force members shall recommend that agencies and
18organizations incorporate the following training components
19into already existing modules and educational curriculums.
20Doing so could be done by:
21        (1) Bolstering academy and school curricula by
22    requiring depressive disorder training catered to PTSD,
23    substance abuse, and early detection techniques training,
24    taking into close consideration respective agency or
25    organization size, and the frequency and number of all
26    current federal and state mandatory examinations and



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1    trainings expected respectively.
2        (2) Continuing to allocate or match federal and state
3    funds to maintain Mobil Training Units (MTUs).
4        (3) Incorporating a state certificate for peer support
5    training into already exiting statewide curriculums and
6    mandatory examinations, annual State Fire Marshal
7    examinations, and physical fitness examinations. The
8    subject matter of the certificate should have an emphasis
9    on mental health and wellness, as well as familiarization
10    with topics ranging from clinical social work, clinical
11    psychology, clinical behaviorist, and clinical psychiatry.
12        (4) Incorporating and performing statewide mental
13    health check-ins during the same times as already mandated
14    trainings. These checks are not to be compared or used as
15    measures of fitness for duty evaluations or structured
16    psychological examinations.
17        (5) Recommending comprehensive and evidence-based
18    training on the importance of preventative measures on the
19    topics of sleep, nutrition, mindfulness, and physical
20    movement.
21        (6) Law enforcement agencies should provide training
22    on the Firearm Owner's Identification Card Act, including
23    seeking relief from the Illinois State Police under
24    Section 10 of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act
25    and a FOID card being a continued condition of employment
26    under Section 7.2 of the Uniform Peace Officers'



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1    Disciplinary Act.