News & Politics

Capitol Employees Urgently Need More Mental Health Assistance, Senators Say

In a letter, 30 Senators say employees' needs have gone up since the January 6 attack

Police guard the Capitol in the aftermath of rioting on January 6. Photograph by Evy Mages

As the fallout from the January 6 insurrection continues, 30 Democratic senators penned a letter on Tuesday calling for greater mental health resources to be provided for Capitol employees. 

“Needs are increasing, especially among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and we should expand these services to include all Capitol personnel,” the senators, led by Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), wrote to Capitol officials.

While Congresspeople and House and Senate staff are eligible for counseling through their Employee Assistance Programs, others who work in the Capitol complex, including custodial staff, journalists, and police officers, are not.

In the letter, the senators ask for better information and protection for Capitol workers and crisis counseling for Capitol Police officers, among other services.

The request for resources seems especially important this week, as former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial has forced senators and staffers to relive the harrowing events of that day. Many senators became emotional during the House managers’ presentation, which included videos of police officers being attacked and Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman directing Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) away from the mob.