Washington; DOJ announces funding to promote law enforcement mental health

Washington; DOJ announces funding to promote law enforcement mental health and wellness

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) this week announced $4.5 million in grants for the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program.  The Montana Department of Justice will receive $84,342 for its Peer Support Project.

These program funds are used to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement through training and technical assistance, demonstration projects, implementation of promising practices related to peer mentoring mental health and wellness, and suicide prevention programs.

“Every day, our law enforcement officers put themselves at risk to keep us safe.  Now, the job is even more challenging with officers facing potential exposure to COVID-19 while dealing with increasing violent crime.  I want to thank our law enforcement officers, deputies, agents and troopers for their hard work, and I am pleased Montana will receive this funding to help keep them healthy and well,” U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said today.

“Good mental and psychological health is just as essential as good physical health for law enforcement officers to be effective in keeping our communities safe from crime and violence,” Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said.  “This grant will enable Montana’s law enforcement agencies to provide a safe environment for officers to talk about mental health challenges they may be facing and receive immediate assistance thanks to the Peer Support Project.”

“As a law enforcement professional with over 50 years of experience, I know firsthand the pressures that accompany this most noble profession,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith.  “This Department of Justice is committed to protecting the health and wellness of a police department’s most valuable asset – the men and women that leave their homes every day with a mission to protect and serve. The grants announced today will provide departments with key mental health and wellness services.”

As part of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, Congress authorized the COPS Office to establish peer mentoring mental health and wellness pilot programs within state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies.  The 41 awards announced today meet the goals of the 2017 Act and support the Department of Justice and the Administration’s commitment to law enforcement

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