When they’re not taking money for political endorsements or scheming to intimidate and harass public employees to get more public contracts, the district 10 Republican team is pushing bills that will probably die in their minority slice of the New Jersey Statehouse, but it’s for a good cause and it gets their name in the political hack websites.
10th District legislators will introduce legislation to create a toll-free helpline for first responders and health care workers who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano recognize the physical and mental strain that this pandemic has placed on New Jersey’s health care heroes and believe this helpline will create an outlet to help those who are struggling to deal with the stresses and emotional trauma of this prolonged crisis.
“We would like to thank all first responders and health care workers who are on the front lines day in and day out fighting the battle against this pandemic,” stated Senator Holzapfel. “The pressure and stresses of their profession can have an impact and put at risk both their physical and mental health. We are sponsoring this legislation to aid health care professionals who are struggling with the accumulated burden of watching so many people struggle with COVID-19 for so long.”
Under the legislation, the helpline is to be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days per week and is to respond to calls from first responders, health care workers, and their families.
“Our doctors, nurses and EMTs have played a crucial role in the fight against the coronavirus. While they need to stay physically healthy, we must not forget the emotional strain this pandemic has placed on them and their families,” continued Assemblyman McGuckin. “The hotline will provide a safe space for these health care workers and their loved ones to communicate their feelings of depression, anger and trauma they’ve experienced during this historic time and to get important support from trained professionals.”
The bill directs the Department of Health to establish the hotline in coordination with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.
“We witnessed the mental and emotional impact that 9/11 had on firefighters, police officers, and recovery workers,” added Assemblyman Catalano. “Our doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers today will face the same challenges after battling COVID-19. That’s why this hotline will be so important. It’s one way we can help ease the emotional burden that comes with being on the frontlines in a crisis.”