LANSING — State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) introduced House Bill 5331 today to expand the Health Professional Recovery Program to emergency medical professionals. The program is a non-disciplinary, treatment-oriented program for health professionals dealing with mental illness or substance abuse.

“Emergency medical responders, technicians, specialists and coordinators all work under extremely difficult and stressful life-and-death situations, and it isn’t uncommon for some to experience mental health or substance abuse issues,” said Yanez. “This is a program that can help these health care professionals get control of their lives again, and it’s just common sense to allow them to benefit from these services.”

The Health Professional Recovery Program provides for rehabilitation services as well as continuing care and aftercare. Currently, health professionals in 24 licensed occupations are eligible for the program, including massage therapists, nutritionists and acupuncturists.

“Emergency medical professionals put their lives on the line for us every single day, saving lives and providing emergency care to our communities,” said Yanez. “It’s time that we provided adequate care to the emergency responders who are having difficulties as a result of the work they do. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill and see it signed into law.”