Laws and Legislation

There are several laws that govern mental health services and support within the first responder and public safety personnel.  These laws are designed to improve access to mental health resources for our community.

Active Laws - Virginia

§ 9.1-203.1. Firefighter mental health awareness training 

Requires fire departments to implement mental health awareness training for its personnel.

§ 32.1-111.5:1. Emergency medical services personnel mental health awareness training 

Requires EMS agencies to implement mental health awareness training for its personnel.

§ 65.2-107. Post-traumatic stress disorder incurred by law-enforcement officers and firefighters.

Recognizes PTSD, anxiety, and depression as diagnoses that are compensable under worker's compensation for firefighters, EMS, and law enforcement personnel.  Requires law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies to make peer support available to members, and to refer members to mental health care services when needed.

§ 19.2-271.4. Privileged communications by certain public safety personnel. 

Requires that peer support team members shall not disclose nor be compelled to testify regarding any information communicated to them.  Also states that such communication shall also be exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

§ 32.1-111.3. Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan; Trauma Triage Plan; Stroke Triage Plan. 

Requires the state to establish and maintain a process for peer support services for first responders and public safety personnel, including statewide availability and accreditation of peer support teams and personnel.