102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
Introduced 2/22/2021, by Rep. Frances Ann Hurley
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
Amends the First Responders Suicide Prevention Act. Provides that the
First Responders Suicide Prevention Task Force shall make specified
recommendations to specified entities.
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A BILL FOR
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AN ACT concerning government.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
The First Responders Suicide Prevention Act is
amended by adding Section 40 as follows:
(5 ILCS 840/40 new)
Task Force recommendations.
(a) Task Force members shall recommend that agencies and
organizations guarantee access to mental health and wellness
services, including, but not limited to, peer support programs
and providing ongoing education related to the ever-evolving
concept of mental health wellness. These recommendations could
be accomplished by:
(1) Revamping agencies and organizations employee
assistance programs (EAPs).
(2) Urging health care providers to replace outdated
healthcare plans and include more progressive options
catering to the needs and abnormal risks shouldered by our
(3) Allocating funding for public service
announcements (PSA) and messaging campaigns aimed at
raising awareness of available assistance options.
(4) Encouraging agencies and organizations to attach
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lists of all available resources to training manuals and
continuing education requirements.
(b) Task Force members shall recommend agencies and
organizations sponsor or facilitate first responders with
specialized training in the areas of psychological fitness,
depressive disorders, early detection, and mitigation best
practices. Such trainings could be accomplished by:
(1) Assigning, appointing, or designating one member
of an agency or organization to attend specialized
training(s) sponsored by an accredited agency,
association, or organization recognized in their fields of
(2) Seeking sponsorships or conducting fund-raisers,
to host annual or semiannual on-site visits from qualified
clinicians or physicians to provide early detection
training techniques, or to provide regular access to
mental health professionals.
(3) Requiring a minimum number of hours of disorders
and wellness training be incorporated into reoccurring,
annual or biannual training standards, examinations, and
curriculums, taking into close consideration respective
agency or organization size, frequency and number of all
current federal and state mandatory examinations and
trainings expected respectively.
(4) Not underestimating the crucial importance of a
balanced diet, sleep, meditation, and recreational
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hobbies, which have been scientifically proven to play a
major role in the human psyche.
(c) Task Force members shall recommend that administrators
and leadership personnel solicit training services from
evidence-based, data driven organizations. Organizations with
personnel trained on the analytical review and interpretation
of specific fields related to the nature of first responders'
exploits, such as PTSD, substance abuse, chronic state of
duress. Task Force members shall further recommend funding for
expansion and messaging campaigns of preliminary
self-diagnosing technologies like the one described above.
These objectives could be met by:
(1) Contacting an accredited agency, association, or
organization recognized in the field or fields of specific
study. Unbeknownst to the majority, many of the agencies
and organizations listed above receive grants and
allocations to assist communities with the very issues
being discussed in this Section.
(2) Normalizing help-seeking behaviors for both first
responders and their families through regular messaging
and peer support outreach, beginning with academy
curricula and continuing education throughout individuals'
(3) Funding and implementing PSA campaigns that
provide clear and concise calls to action about mental
health and wellness, resiliency, help-seeking, treatment
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(4) Promoting and raising awareness of non-for-profit
organizations currently available to assist individuals in
search of care and treatment. Organizations have intuitive
user-friendly sites, most of which have mobile
applications, so first responders can access at a moment's
notice. However, because of limited funds, these
organizations have a challenging time of getting the word
out there about their existence.
(5) Expanding Family and Medical Leave Act protections
for individuals voluntarily seeking preventative
(6) Promoting and ensuring complete patient
(d) Task Force members shall recommend that agencies
agencies and organizations incorporate the following training
components into already existing modules and educational
curriculums. Doing so could be done by:
(1) Bolstering academy and school curricula by
requiring depressive disorder training catered to PTSD,
substance abuse, and early detection techniques training,
taking into close consideration respective agency or
organization size, and the frequency and number of all current
federal and state mandatory examinations and trainings
(2) Continuing to allocate or match federal and state
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funds to maintain Mobil Training Units (MTUs).
(3) Incorporating a state certificate for peer support
training into already exiting statewide curriculums and
mandatory examinations, annual State Fire Marshal
examinations, and physical fitness examinations. The
subject matter of the certificate should have an emphasis
on mental health and wellness, as well as familiarization
with topics ranging from clinical social work, clinical
psychology, clinical behaviorist, and clinical psychiatry.
(4) Incorporating and performing statewide mental
health check-ins during the same times as already mandated
trainings. These checks are not to be compared or used as
measures of fitness for duty evaluations or structured
(5) Recommending sophisticated trainings on the
importance of preventative measures on the topics of
sleep, nutrition, mindfulness and movement.
(6) Law enforcement agencies should provide training
on the Firearm Owner's Identification Card Act, including
seeking relief from the Illinois State Police under
Section 10 of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act
and a FOID card being a continued condition of employment
under Section 7.2 of the Uniform Peace Officers'