State Rep. Devan Seabaugh

Legislation that would require public entities to provide supplemental, illness-specific insurance to first responders diagnosed with occupational post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is making its way through the Georgia House of Representatives. Late last week, the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security gave its okay to House Bill 451 by state Rep. Devan Seabaugh, R-Marietta. It is now in the House Rules committee.

“House Bill 451 is a pioneering piece of legislation that is much needed to support Georgia’s first responders who are struggling with PTSD,” said Rep. J Collins, R-Villa Rica, Chairman of the committee. “Our first responders and public safety officials are often the first to arrive at an emergency scene, and their experiences can have a lasting impact on their mental health. We must ensure that our first responders are given ample opportunities to receive treatment, if necessary, and this legislation aims to do just that. I am proud to see this crucial bill receive bipartisan support in our committee and look forward to continuing the work this session to send the bill to the governor’s desk.”

The bill states that the General Assembly acknowledges that First Responders are often exposed to traumatic events in the line of duty and are at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, which, if untreated, can result in the inability to serve as a first responder as well as grave health consequences, including death by suicide

“PTSD is an extremely debilitating condition that impacts Georgia’s first responders every day,” said Rep. Seabaugh. “As a first responder myself, I know first-hand the challenges our first responders face, and it is my hope that this legislation will give Georgia’s first responders the chance to get the help they need. I am eager to continue to push this much needed bill through the legislative process.”

“As a member of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, I am proud to support this necessary legislation that will extend insurance coverage to first responders struggling with PTSD,” said Rep. Gerald Greene, R-Cuthbert. “We cannot overstate the important role of Georgia’s first responders. First responders risk their lives each day to save our own, and I applaud the work of the committee and my colleague Rep. Seabaugh and look forward to supporting this bill on the House floor in the coming weeks.”


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