Lawmakers bring action with legislation for first responders

Inspired Florida lawmakers attempt to fix the issue

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Rep. Val Demings brought Florida's first responder PTSD issue to Capitol Hill after a local bill failed to get a final vote in Tallahassee this past session.

Demings told News 6 Monday the Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 already passed the full Senate last month and is expected to get strong support in the House.

Demings said she was inspired by Jessica Realin, the wife of Orlando police first responder, Gerry Realin.

"I could have never trained for that, I mean I've seen homicides and suicides before, but not like that," Gary Realin said.

During her visit to the Pulse reflection ceremony Monday, both Rep. Stephanie Murphy and Rep. Darren Soto said they would support first responder legislation.

The bill would mandate states and local law enforcement agencies to establish peer mental health and wellness pilot programs. 

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