Fishers lawmaker authors mental health bill


A bill written by Indiana House Rep. Victoria Garcia Wilburn (D-Fishers) supporting the mental health of officers’ and first responders was passed by the Indiana House of Representatives by a 95-0 vote last week. It now moves on to the Indiana Senate for further consideration.

Garcia Wilburn

House Bill 1321 would require annual in-service virtual training for all first responders, including the professions of law enforcement, full-time professional firefighters and EMS. 

“I wanted to be a legislator so I could address the very real and enduring mental health struggles our first responders face,” Wilburn stated. “I want all of our brave law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel to know you’re not alone, and you can get help. We have an ethical obligation to protect those who protect and serve us, and right now, our active law enforcement officers and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.” 

The training will address mental health and wellness and suicide prevention. The resource will help officers and first responders deal with thoughts of suicide, trauma and other mental or emotional obstacles to reduce stress and anxiety.

“Thank you to my legislative colleagues for voting this bill out of committee so we can take another step toward making good on this promise,” Wilburn said. “I am honored that my first bill passed out of committee is one in service to our first responders.”