EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Easthampton Police Department has been awarded a mental health and wellness grant through a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) program.

The police applied for the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) Program grant to get funding for the city to hire a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to address the mental health needs of police officers and other city employees.

The new position will be responsible for creating mental health and wellness activities for city employees and first responders to help reduce symptoms of stress, trauma, and burnout. They will also respond to critical incidents in the community as a co-responder with police and coordinate recovery-based support in the aftermath of a critical incident.

The LEMHWA Program provides funding for law enforcement and public safety activities in the state, local, and tribal jurisdictions; assists victims of crime; provides training and technical assistance; conducts research; and implements programs that improve the criminal, civil, and juvenile justice systems.

The grant is one of only 42 awarded nationwide.