LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It's now easier for police officers to access mental health services.
Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly joined local elected officials, Indiana FOP and the Lafayette Police Chief gathered at a press conference to discuss his bipartisan Law Enforcement and Mental Health and Wellness Act, which was recently signed into law by President Trump.
The bill authorizes grants to start mentoring programs. It also helps providers develop resources to meet specific needs of officers.
Senator Donnelly said there shouldn't be a stigma around asking for help.
"In the past, sometimes people would say I've gotta tough this out on my own we want them to know that it's a sign of strength to want to talk to somebody, to be able to talk to somebody and that we have the resources in place," said Donnelly.
Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis were also at the press conference. As retired officers themselves, they understand the importance of the bill.
"Police officers go through things every day that affect their mental health," said Roswarski.
Dennis echoed his thought in saying, "we still think about a lot of calls that we went on that are really hard to shake off."
The issue of mental health is an important topic to Lafayette Police Chief, Patrick Flannelly.
"We want to send the most highly-equipped, highly trained professional police officer that we can send to your door because that's what you're going to need in those moments of crisis," said Flannelly.
He has done a lot to improve the overall wellness of people in law enforcement.