Enacts the "minority mental health act" to establish the division of minority mental health within the office of mental health; such division shall be responsible for assuring that mental health programs and services are culturally and linguistically appropriate to meet the needs of racial and ethnic minorities.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing the division of minority mental health within the office of mental health, and providing for its powers and duties
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to evaluate and improve the current mental health service delivery model for ethnic and minority populations in New York State.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 sets forth the legislative intent.
Section 2 provides the short title of this act, "The Minority Mental Health Act."
Section 3 adds a new Article 8 to the Mental Hygiene Law titled "Division of Minority Mental Health." This section establishes a new Division of Minority Mental Health within the Office of Mental Health (OMH) for the purpose of addressing a broad spectrum of mental health care issues specifically focused on the needs of racial and ethnic minority populations in New York State. Additionally, the bill establishes a Minority Mental Health Council within the newly created Division of Minority Health to assist the Commissioner of OMH with minority mental health issues, and to conduct a study on the mental health needs of racial and ethnic minorities. In such study, the Council is required to examine the availability and effectiveness of current programs, examine an array of issues impacting service delivery to minority populations, and to provide recommendations to address the identified unmet needs. The Council is further required to report its findings to the Governor and the Legislature within 18 months of the effective date of this legislation.
Section 4 provides that this bill would take effect April I following enactment.
JUSTIFICATION: New York State's population reflects a diversity of cultures and ethnicities. According to the 2000 Census, minority populations constitute approximately 32% of the State's population and 62% of New York City's population. Consistent with these figures is the stark reality that there is a lack of available and adequate mental health services in languages other than English, and that there are high rates of under-utilization of available mental health services by minority populations. The fundamental need to address this disparity was recognized in the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. In the 2002 report, the Commission acknowledged that "the mental health system has not kept pace with the diverse needs of racial and ethnic minorities, often under serving or inappropriately serving them. Specifically, the system has neglected to incorporate respect or understanding of the histories, traditions, beliefs, languages, and value systems of culturally diverse groups.
Misunderstandinig and misinterpreting behaviors have led to tragic consequences, including inappropriately placing minorities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems." New York State must take a proactive role in removing the numerous barriers existent in the current mental health system. This legislation would provide a bold foundation for improving access, quality and the outcomes of mental health services provided to the culturally diverse populations across the State.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Same as S.5575 of 2008 Reported to Finance. A.3732 Passed Assembly. Same as S.4938 of 2009 Veto 49. S.7023/A.9833 of 2010 Passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill will take effect April 1 next succeeding the date of enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3063 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 8, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. HUNTLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop- mental Disabilities AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing the division of minority mental health within the office of mental health, and providing for its powers and duties THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds that racial and ethnic minorities in America comprise a substantial and vibrant segment of the United States population. According to the 2000 United States Census, minorities comprised the majority of the New York City population. Further, the legislature finds that nearly half of all New York City households speak a language other than English at home, and that the "enormous shortage of trained bilingual and bicultural counselors, therapists, psychiatrists and social workers, make it impos- sible, for many limited-English-proficient New Yorkers to obtain refer- rals and timely, appropriate mental health services" (New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health report, AN EVALUATION OF THE DELIVERY OF MENTAL HYGIENE SERVICES IN NEW YORK STATE, February 2005). Moreover, the legislature finds that the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health also found that the mental health system in the United States "has not kept pace with the diverse needs of racial and ethnic minorities. Misunderstanding and misinterpreting behaviors have led to tragic consequences, including inappropriately placing minorities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems." Consequently, the legislature finds that a division of minority mental health should be created to address the unique mental health needs of the racial and ethnic minority citizens of the state. S 2. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "minority mental health act".EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01202-01-1 S. 3063 2
S 3. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new article 8 to read as follows: ARTICLE 8 DIVISION OF MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH SECTION 8.01 DECLARATION OF POLICY. 8.03 DEFINITIONS. 8.05 DIVISION OF MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH. 8.07 SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITIES. 8.09 MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH COUNCIL. S 8.01 DECLARATION OF POLICY. THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND ITS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO CARE FOR AND TREAT ALL OF ITS CITIZENS SUFFERING FROM MENTAL DISABIL- ITIES. TO ADDRESS THE GROWING AND SIGNIFICANT DISCONNECT BETWEEN THE MENTAL HEALTH CARE NEEDS, AND THE AVAILABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY OF CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY COMPETENT CARE FOR ALL NEW YORKERS, A NEW DIVISION OF MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH IS CREATED. THE DIVISION SHALL FOCUS ON ASSESSING THE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITY POPU- LATIONS AND STRIVE TO BEST ENSURE THAT APPROPRIATE CARE IS PROVIDED TO THESE INDIVIDUALS. S 8.03 DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE: (A) "COUNCIL" MEANS THE MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH COUNCIL ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 8.09 OF THIS ARTICLE. (B) "DIVISION" MEANS THE DIVISION OF MINORITY HEALTH ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 8.05 OF THIS ARTICLE. S 8.05 DIVISION OF MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED, WITHIN THE OFFICE, A DIVISION OF MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH. THE DIVISION SHALL ASSIST THE OFFICE AND THE COMMISSIONER IN CARRYING OUT THEIR POWERS AND DUTIES RELATING TO THE PROVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES. S 8.07 SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITIES. THE DIVISION SHALL: (A) BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSURING THAT MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES ARE CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY APPROPRIATE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES; (B) SERVE AS LIAISON AND ADVOCATE FOR THE OFFICE ON MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS. THIS FUNCTION SHALL INCLUDE THE PROVISION OF STAFF SUPPORT TO THE COUNCIL AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF APPROPRIATE PROGRAM LINKAGE WITH RELATED FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AGENCIES AND PROGRAMS; (C) ASSIST PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS AND STATE AGENCIES TO DEVELOP COMPRE- HENSIVE PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE THE SUPPLY OF MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH PERSON- NEL BY PROMOTING MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH CLINICAL TRAINING AND CURRICULUM IMPROVEMENT, AND DISSEMINATING MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH CAREER INFORMATION TO HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS; AND (D) REVIEW THE IMPACT OF PROGRAMS, REGULATIONS AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE REIMBURSEMENT POLICIES ON MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY AND ACCESS. S 8.09 MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH COUNCIL. (A) THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED, WITHIN THE DIVISION, A MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH COUNCIL TO CONSIST OF THE COMMISSIONER AND FOURTEEN APPOINTED MEMBERS. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL SERVE AS THE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL. THE APPOINTED MEMBERSHIP OF THE COUNCIL SHALL HAVE RELEVANT EXPERIENCE RELATED TO THE PROVISION OR RECEIPT OF MINORITY SERVICES AND SHALL BE REFLECTIVE OF THE DIVERSITY OF THE STATE'S POPULATION INCLUD-S. 3063 3
ING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE VARIOUS MINORITY POPULATIONS THROUGHOUT THE STATE. THE MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED AS FOLLOWS: 1. FOUR MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR; 2. FOUR MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE; 3. FOUR MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY; 4. ONE MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE; AND 5. ONE MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEM- BLY. (B) THE APPOINTED MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL SHALL EACH SERVE A TERM OF TWO YEARS, BUT SHALL CONTINUE TO SERVE IN OFFICE UNTIL THEIR SUCCESSORS ARE APPOINTED. ALL VACANCIES IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE COUNCIL SHALL BE FILLED FOR THE UNEXPIRED TERM WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE DATE THE VACANCY OCCURS. VACANCIES SHALL BE FILLED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT. (C) THE COUNCIL SHALL MEET AS FREQUENTLY AS ITS BUSINESS MAY REQUIRE, BUT IN NO CASE SHALL IT MEET LESS THAN FOUR TIMES DURING ANY CALENDAR YEAR. (D) THE MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL SHALL RECEIVE NO COMPENSATION FOR THEIR SERVICES, BUT SHALL BE ALLOWED THEIR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE. (E) THE COUNCIL SHALL: 1. AT THE REQUEST OF THE COMMISSIONER, CONSIDER ANY MATTER RELATING TO THE PROVISION AND IMPROVEMENT OF MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES; AND 2. CONDUCT A STUDY ON THE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES AND THE AVAILABILITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO MEET SUCH NEEDS. SUCH STUDY SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, AN EXAMINATION OF: RATES OF UNDERUTILIZATION OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES BY SPECIFIC RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITY GROUPS, THE REASONS CONTRIBUTING TO SUCH UNDERUTILIZATION PATTERNS, THE AVAILABILITY OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF IDENTIFIED RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADDRESSING IDENTIFIED UNMET NEEDS AND FOR IMPROVING THE AVAILABILITY OF CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY APPROPRIATE SERVICES. THE COUNCIL SHALL REPORT ITS FIND- INGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR, THE COMMISSIONER, THE TEMPO- RARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY AND THE CHAIR- PERSONS OF THE SENATE MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES COMMITTEE AND THE ASSEMBLY MENTAL HEALTH COMMITTEE, WITHIN EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE. S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law; provided that any appoint- ments, rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be completed on or before such date.