Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Centerville to offer wellness program to spouses, children and retired first responders

Nov 02, 2023 11:18AM ● By Linda Petersen

Centerville City is extending mental health benefits to spouses and children of first responders, along with those who retire from the police department or leave the department’s employment. That latter group can receive the benefits for up to three years after employment.

For the last three years Centerville has contracted with Previdence Mental Health to provide these services to department employees but now to comply with a new state law, HB 59 First Responder Mental Health Amendments, they’re expanding the coverage.

Under this agreement Previdence will provide bi-annual assessments and therapy where needed, Along with high incident exposure counseling and two one hour custom mental health training per department and two peer support workshops for certified peer support members.

“We’re recommending you approve this new agreement which provides well-needed mental health benefits after retirement or after they’ve left the services of the city,” City Attorney Lisa Romney told the city council Oct. 17.

“When you look at PTSD related to violent incidents that doesn’t always manifest during the time  they’re a police officer; it’s often years later,” Councilmember George McEwan said. 

“It’s not only a tough profession, it’s tough on everyone around them,” he said in support of offering the expanded coverage.

The previous three-year contract cost the city $3,411 annually but the new contract has been increased to $8,100 for a one-year contract. Despite the increase, the wellness program is worth it, City Manager Brant Hanson said.

“It is successful,” Hanson said of the existing program. “It’s working and it’s evolving at the same time. This is still a new space that’s evolving with new conversations and with the state legislature requiring cities to offer this not only to the police officers but their families, you’re having a lot of different therapists entering this arena to help.

“Beyond what is offered to all city employees, Previdence offers questionnaires that tries to get a little insight into each officer’s state of mind,” he said. If there’s “red flags” Previdence could bring the information to the attention of the department’s administrative team. “That along with their peer-to-peer counseling – it’s all working out really well right now.”

On Oct. 17 the city council unanimously voted to approve the contract pending some fine tuning by Romney.