HARRISBURG – A bill establishing an emergency responder mental wellness and stress management program in PA is headed to the governor’s desk. Under House Bill 1459, a variety of services to support first responders would launch through the PA Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, county mental health offices, and the State Fire Commissioner. Support would include peer-to-peer support programs, a toll-free helpline, statewide and regional stress management support, and trauma and suicide awareness training. Studies have shown that first responders have higher rates of depression, alcohol abuse, sleep disturbances, anxiety disorders, and suicidal thoughts. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law.