Bill S4760A-2011

Creates mental illness and chemical dependence initiative

Creates a public education initiative designed to eliminate stigma and misinformation about mental illness and chemical dependence among military service members.

Details

Actions

  • Apr 30, 2012: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • Mar 30, 2012: PRINT NUMBER 4760A
  • Mar 30, 2012: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • Apr 20, 2011: REFERRED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities - Apr 30, 2012
Ayes (9): McDonald, Ball, Bonacic, Seward, Zeldin, Huntley, Duane, Peralta, Klein
Excused (1): Hannon

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4760A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to creating a public education initiative designed to eliminate stigma and misinformation about mental illness and chemical dependence among military service members; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Creates a public education initiative designed to eliminate stigma and misinformation about mental illness and chemical dependence among military service members.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one amends section 7.09 of the Mental Hygiene law by requiring the commissioner of the office of mental health the commissioner of the office of mental health, in conjunction with the commissioner of the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services and director of the division of veterans' affairs to create a public education initiative designed to eliminate stigma and misinformation about mental illness and chemical dependence among service members, veterans, and their families, improve their understanding of mental and substance use disorders and the existence of effective treatment, and provide information regarding available resources and how to access them.

Section two provides the effective date and expiration date of June 30, 2014.

JUSTIFICATION: Through their service, many military personnel in New York were exposed to or have experienced trauma, placing many of them in high risk categories of triggering underlying conditions, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse problems or other mental health issues. According to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, at least one in three Iraq veterans and one in nine Afghanistan veterans will face a mental health issue like depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

According to the United States substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, "the impact of military reality on individual mental health is complicated further by the pronounced stigma associated with mental illness within military communities. Service members frequently cite fear of personal embarrassment, fear of disappointing comrades fear of losing the opportunity for career advancement, and fear of dishonorable discharge as motivations to hide the symptoms of mental illness from colleagues, friends and family. This silence and the attitudes and perceptions perpetuating it pose a significant

challenge to those charged with making sure that the United States fighting force is improving itself and taking care of its own members."

Left untreated, combat-related mental health issues can and does destroy the lives of veterans and their families. Untreated combat related mental health issues can manifest itself through substance abuse, the criminal justice system, and suicide. These brave Americans have laid their lives on the line in service to their country. Until stigma is addressed and the reality of the mental health needs of military veterans is fully recognized, our returning troops and veterans from wars past will continue to suffer.

FISCAL IMPLICATION: Not yet determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately:


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4760--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 20, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. McDONALD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop- mental Disabilities -- recommitted to the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to creating a public education initiative designed to eliminate stigma and misinformation about mental illness and chemical dependence among military service members; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expira- tion thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 7.09 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new subdivision (k) to read as follows: (K) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY GENERAL OR SPECIAL LAW TO THE CONTRARY, THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS SHALL DEVELOP A PUBLIC EDUCATION INITIATIVE DESIGNED TO ELIMI- NATE STIGMA AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS AND CHEMICAL DEPEND- ENCE AMONG SERVICE MEMBERS, VETERANS, AND THEIR FAMILIES, IMPROVE THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF MENTAL AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS AND THE EXISTENCE OF EFFECTIVE TREATMENT, AND PROVIDE INFORMATION REGARDING AVAILABLE RESOURCES AND HOW TO ACCESS THEM. THESE PUBLIC EDUCATION INITIATIVES MAY INCLUDE THE USE OF THE INTERNET, INCLUDING THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire on June 30, 2014 when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed.

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