Geogia lawmakers push for bipartisan bill to support first responders with PTSD

From left to right: State Representative Devan Seabaugh (R), State Representative Gregg Kennard (D), and Emory Psychologist Dr. Barbara Rothbaum, were guests on Thursday's edition of "Closer Look with Rose Scott."

According to the Institutes of Health, more than 80% of first responders experience trauma on the job. However, in Georgia, if a first responder did not suffer physical injury, worker’s compensation is not available for post-traumatic stress disorder.

On Thursday’s special edition of “Closer Look with Rose Scott,” we continue our series that focuses on how PTSD impacts first responders.

First, show host Rose Scott speaks with Georgia House Reps. Devan Seabaugh and Gregg Kennard about why they co-sponsored HB451 and its chances of advancing this legislative session.

The proposed bill, which has received bipartisan support, would create an insurance program that provides compensation for first responders who experience trauma on the job and suffer from PTSD.

Then, Dr. Barbara Rothbaum shares her decades-long expertise about PTSD. She is a psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at Emory School of Medicine and the director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program at Emory University.

In her more than 30-year career, Rothbaum has invented treatments for PTSD in combat veterans. She talks with Rose about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options for PTSD.

Rothbaum also encouraged those who might be suffering to look into Emory Healthcare’s Veterans Program.